Rain & Washout

The mud/rock slide at Canyon Springs Golf Course was obviously the result of record rainfall.  It did not do as much damage as it could have and we were extremely lucky it occurred where it did.  The damaged areas are in front of hole #14 tees and in the low area just below #13 green about 75 yards in front of the green.  In a perfect world where golfers play as they imagine, these areas are not strategically in play.  However, as we all know, golfers don’t live in a perfect world or play as we imagine, so there is bound to be some bother and inconvenience.  Water follows gravity and the material deposited is along the lines of natural drainage.   Our plan is to remove the rock, level the sand, and plant grass on the newly deposited sand.  It will change the contours a bit, but, in final analysis, it will cause less damage to use this gift from mother nature than try to return the golf course to its original contours.  Golf courses evolve.  This is just an unexpected, unplanned evolution.

 

I’m not sure what else we should say about this event.  The geology of the land effected has been relatively stable since days of Perrine’s Blue Lakes Ranch.  The old wagon road behind the falls that was destroyed has been there for 130-40 years.  It seems fairly certain to us that the damage was directly related to development that has occurred on the canyon rim.  Specifically, the failure of a containment basin to catch the runoff from paved areas directly above the washout.  Was it just the result of record rainfall?  Hard to say, but nothing like this has happened in our recorded human history.  The one factor that has changed during this history is the development along the rim.  It would seem a reasonable conclusion to question whether that development was executed in a manner that protected their neighbors from the consequences of their actions.  To simply say to us to deal with it as an “act of nature” is irresponsible.  Let’s look at this as reasonable neighbors and figure this out.  It’s not reasonable for the developers (and the City that approved the development) to expect their neighbors to clean up their messes, errors, and miscalculations.  We can’t do much about acts of nature except deal with them as a community.  We can learn from our experience and mistakes and do our best to prevent them in the future.  Given the dramatic destruction to our property that occurred and the fact it may happen again, and given our responsibilities as stewards of this incredible landscape, it would be foolish to pretend we can just shrug our shoulders and say “stuff happens” and go on without dealing with what we have learned and experienced.

 

–Dave McCollum         

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