The risk, release & reward.

Have you ever helped flood irrigate?


I hadn't ever until last year.

It still gets me how something as small - and as simple - as a few 1x4's, or a piece of plywood and a tarp can be rigged to hold back a mass of water so great that it builds and then spills over the sides bringing new life to pastures or crops.

But that also, in a matter of a few seconds, and with a few pulls - it can all be released?

That moment when the boards are pulled, and the pressure of the water is released and it all just floods away.... 

The ranch Clint works for irrigates a majority of their pastures using a ditch and flood irrigation.  The water is diverted out of the Umatilla River at the East end of the ranch.  It runs through a course of canals, ditches and diversions and after soaking through pastures and fields, it ultimately makes it's way back into the Umatilla River at the NW end of the ranch.

Recently, Double M has opened their own flood gates, and stepped out on a limb to be a "guinea pig" as Mike explained to the camera crew that visited earlier this month.

They've changed their diversion dam in the Umatilla - and are one of the first and only landowners in a major tributary of the Columbia River to do so.  The goal was to create a partnership.

One in which the river flourishes, the land and ranch flourishes and the wildlife and fish flourish.

Mike & Jack pulled the boards, and let the camera crew ask whatever they wanted. 

And in the nicest way possible - their answers pretty much floored me.

These are two guys that don't look for the limelight.

But when asked - they delivered.

Without needing retakes, they flooded the crew with passionate and eloquent belief about the why's and the how come's and the what for's.

I can't claim to understand the details or the ramifications that this new system of delivering water to the ranch from the river brings. 

But I can understand that sometimes;

To reap big rewards -

you have to take big risks.


So what happens if we trigger our own release?

What would happen if we pulled the tarps and quit playing it safe?

Or maybe we need to put a few boards in place so that we can build goodness around us?

If instead of bottling anger and comparison, we flooded others with compliments and kindness?



I guess the only way to find out is to let the flooding begin.... 


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