Journalist Richard Manning Talks Clean Water in Boise at IORC Keynote Address 

click to enlarge - Richard Manning was the keynote speaker at the Organization of Resource Council's second annual banquet. -  - CONNER JACKSON
  • Conner Jackson
  • Richard Manning was the keynote speaker at the Organization of Resource Council's second annual banquet.


Journalist Richard Manning served up strong language about agriculture and water quality at the Basque Center Nov. 14. Since many agricultural activities aren't covered by environmental laws, much of their impact goes unregulated, with the public picking up the tab.

“The reason we have polluted water is agriculture and that’s because it is considered non-point source pollution, so it’s not under the Clean Water Act,” Manning said.

Manning was there as the keynote speaker for Idaho Organization of Resource Council's second annual banquet. He's the author of "Idaho's sewer system is the Snake River," a feature story that ran in High Country News in 2014.

Approximately 50 people came to give state chapter updates, participate in a silent auction, and hear Manning’s address. 

Manning began his speech with a reference to Aldo Leopold’s “Round River” before moving on to cover environmental issues of Idaho and the Midwest.

“Follow nitrogen to find the environmental story,” Manning said, referring to the accumulation of nitrogen from agricultural runoff in watersheds across the country. The sheer number of people placing stress on the environment, he said, is a prime contributor to degradation.

“When we talk about water what we’re really talking about is population. And that leads to Global Warming,” Manning said. “The system will not work as long as there is that many people.”

The event wrapped up with a question-and-answer period, and Manning offering advice.

“Find some place local that you can love and tend to the issues of,” Manning said. “Maybe we wont save a planet, but at least we’ll be doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”


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