Tuesday Sept. 21, 2010 | The Yadkin River Story

September 17, 2010 at 10:30 am | Posted in Coming Up | 5 Comments

The Yadkin River has been a part of North Carolina lore for centuries. Daniel Boone traveled its paths and modern residents live, work and play by the river’s banks. It’s also one of the more controversial rivers in our state given that a private corporation owns and controls much of the Yadkin Rivers shoreline. Two journalists, Phoebe Zerwick and Christine Rucker, set out to write about and photograph some of the people and places along the Yadkin and to learn some of its secrets. Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks paddled the length of the Yadkin as well. They join us to talk about what they learned.
Phoebe Zerwick
– Freelance Writer, Co-Producer Yadkin River Story
Christine Rucker – Photojournalist, Co-Producer, Yadkin River Story
Dean Naujoks – Yadkin Riverkeeper, Executive Director, Yadkin Riverkeeper org

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  1. Too bad the Yadkin has been fairly severely polluted throughout the years. In addition to the Alcoa aluminum plant most people in the state are familiar with, there were/are many other factories and industries located along the Yadkin River. In Wilkesboro, for instance, there is one of the largest poultry processing plants east of the Mississippi located there – and much of the effluent from that factory is released in to the river. There are numerous other factories located along its banks that have dumped their pollution in to the river over the decades: textile factories, furniture factories, mirror factories, etc…so maybe outsourcing a lot of factory production to Asia wasn’t such a bad thing for the USA considering we also outsourced a whole lot of our industrial pollution?

  2. Question for the guests: how has the recent drought (about 2007-present) negatively affected the water flow of the Yadkin River? We haven’t had much significant rainfall in NC for a while now, and the river levels have to be low.

  3. Why do the many of the business owners who reside in the Yadkin River region so often prefer to hire immigrants (often undocumented) to work on their farms, ranches, vineyards, factories, and so on instead of hiring native-born Americans when the unemployment rate is so high in the modern USA?

  4. I submitted this comment to the station, missed it on air.

    By taking over Alcoa’s permit, how do we (the state) create 5000-6000 jobs?

    And how is Alcoa making 40 million a year, and maintaining the resources we would obtain without all these people?

  5. In response to the comment by Badin Lake resident, the profits generated by operating the dam currently go to Alcoa. The job creation would come by redeploying those funds in such a way that they attract new business that provide more jobs. It’s not that the jobs come from operating the dams, its that the revenue generated by the dams goes to a for profit entity. Another possible solution (although I do not believe the correct one) that many other states have, is that they charge the private corporation for using the public resource. Sort of like a royalty payment. Currently Alcoa is able to use the Yadkin river’s water without making any payment to the State. We are only one of I believe six states that allows private corporations to take over a public resource in this way.

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