Terry Woollen

Interviewee:


Interviewee Terry Woollen, Director, Lower Republican NRD, 1983 - 2003

Terry Woollen

Position Held: Director, Lower Republican NRD, 1983 - 2003

Full Interview:


Interviewer(s):

Jim Barr

Associated NRDs:

Lower Republican

Transcript:

MR. BARR: This is Jim Barr. It's July 18th. I'm north of Alma with Terry Woolen and visiting about the NRD's history and evolution. Terry, would you be willing to just go over a little of your own history just to kind of know who you are and that sort of thing?
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, I was born in Harlan County or raised in Harlan County, born Holdredge, Nebraska, on a farm. High school at Wilcox High School and then on to UNL for college, and during time of Vietnam. I don't know if you experienced, others probably did, that I had to take a test to stay in college, I think my junior year, because everybody was flocking to college to avoid the draft. And then I joined the Navy, went through OCS, was a naval officer for a little -- just about two years is all, because of the slowdown in Vietnam. I was over there at the time, and they released a bunch of officers and I was one of the fortunate ones that came home in September of '71. We looked for a farm at that point and found this farm north of Alma at a little less price than where I grew up in the Wilcox area. It wasn't developed, and so we did find water and were able to develop for irrigation. And we moved here in March of '72, so we've been here since then. And which, coincidentally, is probably the year, basically, that NRDs started. And we had a good friend that was in the NRCS office down here that helped us a great deal, a distant relative, and he was involved, of course, in the NRD movement. I wasn't particularly enthralled with it because of the conservation district that he was very active in prior to that. So, it stepped on some toes initially. And we've raised a family of four children here and continue to live in the same house. It was built in 1906, and we're only the second family to occupy this farm. The original owners or family that owned it sold it to us in 1972. I think that's a little bit about me.
MR. BARR: What sort of a farming operation do you have?
MR. WOOLLEN: We're corn, soybeans, wheat. We're expanding a little bit on dryland acres to some peas. And occasionally, we'll raise some oats. I need to harvest some in the next few days. And the peas, hopefully, we'll get to sample them today. We used to have a cow/calf operation. I just sold that about a year and a half ago. And my son rents the pasture. One of our sons does farm nearby. The other is a lawyer in New York City and the other is a doctor in Denison, Iowa. And then our daughter is here. She's the musician of the family, and she keeps mom and dad healthy, wealthy and wise.
MR. BARR: Thank you. What sort -- you briefly mentioned a little about your experience or your understanding of the NRDs. Did you have any history with either the preceding Soil and Water Conservation District, and then as it evolved into the NRDs, what sort of involvement, if any, did you have?
MR. WOOLLEN: I really didn't, because, you know, I just came in at the tail end of the Soil and Water Conservation District, but the local district conservationist, like I say, we were well acquainted with. And he did a lot of work for us in the conservation aspect on our farm. So, I was closely linked to him and the
NRCS -- I guess it wasn't called that at that time.
MR. BARR: Probably Soil Conservation Service at that point.
MR. WOOLLEN: Yeah. So, I had a connection there, and, you know, I started observing the Natural Resource District. I was acquainted -- got acquainted with Ron at that time. We attended church together. And so, I had some interest just because of his involvement. And then, in, oh, it must have been '82 is when I got on the board. So, about that time period, they put in a road structure that I thought was somewhat unnecessary, just because I had a dam above it and I didn't think there was that much need for it. But that kind of triggered my interest, plus conservation was an interest of mine from the work I'd done, tree planting and things of that sort. So, I ran for the first time in 1982, and it was an at-large position over the whole district. And it was against a banker in Superior, Nebraska. So, it was, you know, each end of the district or somewhat each end of the district that we ran against each other. And I was elected at that time and served for 20 years after that.
MR. BARR: What sort of activities was the NRD doing when you came on the board and the sort of things you were involved in?
MR. WOOLLEN: As I mentioned, the road structures, the bigger projects that a county or somebody wasn't able to do. Of course, tree planting was a big part of it at that time, and we did our own tree planting at that time. I was involved early on with some reseeding of pasture land. Actually, Ron drove the tractor and reseeded some of it for me as we were experimenting with that. And that has been something that I still enjoy seeing, all those grasses back where they originally were.
Other activities, as I recall more cooperation with NRCS and other entities to get things done. Occasionally, we would have flooding problems along the river, and of course, everybody's upset when it floods and the water comes out. And so, we got involved in issues like that. That's most of it. The nitrate level, especially in the eastern part of the district became a concern. And monitoring wells and things of that sort were installed so we could keep an eye on that. And then, it -- you know, this is '82. In the '80s, we started to see some concerns about the water supply, too. And particular areas where water levels were decreasing and so we started to do some investigating in those areas, too. So, it was really a broad mix of things. And then, I think as probably Ron maybe could better tell you, but end of '80s, we had a dry period into a '90-'91, in that area. That's when things kind of come to a head with the Kansas situation.
MR. BARR: Would you like to kind of, as much detail as you'd like to, recount your experiences with that general issue from the NRD's standpoint and from the region's standpoint?
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, I had been involved in a hot topic just a few years before that, I think sometime in the middle '80s, the low-level nuclear waste issue. And I served as a representative of the NRDs on the Citizens Action Committee, I think it was called. And of course, that went nowhere, and we did a lot of the thought process. I was amazed on how little the engineers and the people that were trying to put something together understood the weather and tornado activity, et cetera, of Nebraska, and how they wanted to build something. And my involvement there
was -- or interest was “not in my backyard” type thing, because it was a willing seller, as far as how they were going to find the site, and there was a willing seller just south of the lake down here in Harlan County. So, I had interest there. And my viewpoint was, why not put it right next to nuclear station and keep all the possible problems in one spot, up out of the flood plain, but there was apparently no willing sellers there. We really didn't have that option. So, we went through a process of looking at things and why things work better than others.
And so, anyway, from that, I guess, then, as we moved into the Kansas situation, it became more and more apparent that Kansas wasn't going to let the situation die. There was something that needed to be done. And Mike Jess and Jim Cook were very involved in saying, well, if things went the wrong way, we could be restricted to five or six inches of water out here. So, that was an interest. And the process, as far as being involved in the negotiations with Kansas, as I recall, was they asked for volunteers or people that would be willing to serve on that.
MR. BARR: What kind of a committee or group was it?
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, it was actually just Jim, officially, Jim and Mike Jess and a citizen, I think, is what they originally intended. And I remember having a phone interview with Mike and Jim, and then Ann Bleed was involved, too, just because of her position. And likewise, on Kansas side, they had a legal person, Dave Barfield, and the head waters -- David, I can't think of his last name right now. But I don't know what their criteria and everything. Jim and Mike might better address that. But I was chosen, so we started meetings. And I think this would have been in the middle '90s. I don't know all the dates there. I'm just going by where my kids were at that time. And we started discussing what Kansas needed or thought they needed, and then we would bring it back home and discuss that locally. And, of course, that made me a very unpopular person because of the people involved in Nebraska First, I guess, and other political entities that were indicating Kansas was out of line in asking for what they felt they deserved.
MR. BARR: Who were the negotiators on the Kansas side?
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, David Pope.
MR. BARR: David Pope, that's right. I remember him.
MR. WOOLLEN: That's the name. And Dave Barfield. And then they usually had a legal person there and I think that changed. It originally was maybe a lady and later a man that -- with legal expertise within their organization there. But David Barfield and David Pope were the primary ones.
MR. BARR: Did they have citizen representation, too?
MR. WOOLLEN: I don't think they did. And so, that was unique and I was somewhat overwhelmed a little bit, because they obviously had much greater knowledge of the technical aspects of what we were talking about.
MR. BARR: What were some of the things they brought up and --
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, they wanted to maintain, and still do, a steady supply of water. And, of course, one of their points was that the Republican and the Smoky River -- I think it's Smoky, that come together down in Kansas, and then they provide water for, I think, two thirds or so of the population of Kansas. And the Smoky is very -- has a high mineral content, so they really rely on the Republican to freshen that water and supply the water down there. Now, they obviously use the irrigators as a reason for the water, but for a large extent, it's for human consumption and use down in those larger cities on the bottom end of the stream. So, that plus, they kind of used the same argument that Nebraska used against Wyoming. You made this Compact, contract, whatever, and said you were going to do this and this, and we're not getting our share that you've said we were going to get. And so, it was hard to overcome, because we're arguing out of two sides of our mouth whether we are south or west part of Nebraska.
MR. BARR: They had had some success legally with Colorado, hadn't they?
MR. WOOLLEN: Yes, that's another incentive on their part. They had not only won there, but I think a fairly large monetary settlement. So, they were planning on using that money to get their -- what they considered their rightful water from Nebraska. It was difficult in my aspect, to come home and give information or talk to people about this when they had so much information on the other side about ignoring it and don't do anything, don't even put meters on. That was one thing we were trying to do, just put meters on, so we would know where we were at. And I think most farmers nowadays see that as a positive. But at that point, it was intrusion by Kansas and local NRD, that idea. And a moratorium early on just to stop development and wait and see what would happen, in retrospect, probably would have been a good idea. Off the record, I'd mention that at NRD meetings, and it didn't -- it fell like a lead balloon. And I understand why. I wasn't anxious to do it, but that would have been one of the things that we would have probably limited the number of acres that we have to spread our water out at this point. But nobody -- if they saw it, they didn't want to agree with it.
MR. BARR: In the early years of the discussions with Kansas, what was the involvement of the other Republican NRDs?
MR. WOOLLEN: In my position, I reported to them, I don't know how often, but I made my rounds to the different NRDs and just kind of reported our process. Now, I couldn't tell them everything that was going on and tried to keep most things out of the paper. We had a good reporter at our NRD meetings that when I said, “Off the record,” she put her pen down and that worked well. Our local meetings, when we tried to present some of this stuff, actually, there were some outside agitators. Somebody from Kearney, in particular that came down and tried to raise questions and things. So, it was contentious all along. And I was told at one time that -- from a lady that she was just passing on, I don't know if she meant it, that I would probably find myself in a ditch somewhere. I never asked her if I was going to be alive or not when that happened. So, there was a lot of antagonistic viewpoints, and still is, probably. But little by little, people learned to accept it. And the Supreme Court, when they made their judgment, there wasn't too much beyond that that we could do.
MR. BARR: How much was the lack of discussion in the original compact with groundwater a factor in the negotiations and the discussions?
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, at home, to the average Joe, it was a big concern, but to water people that knew the interconnection of the groundwater and surface water, it was less of an issue. I think Mike and Jim understood it, so it was hard -- and they knew the people on the other side understood water and the models that they had to determine where the water came from, understood that, so it was less of an issue in the negotiations itself than it was in presenting that to an average person on the street.
MR. BARR: What was the involvement of the Nebraska Attorney General's Office?
MR. WOOLLEN: Later on, they, of course, had a big involvement. But early on in those negotiations, I don't recall a lot of involvement there. Jim and Mike could probably tell you more about that, but I just -- you know, we were kind of on our own and just kind of fishing around for ways that we might do some things. And a lot of those ideas originated with Mike just from his experience, and Jim and Ann, you know, those three. But a lot of it was just getting meters on wells so Kansas could verify, yes, you're only using this much, and things of that sort. And, you know, I was kind of emissary that came back and said, “Can we do this?” And, you know, kind of a brick wall as far as that type of suggestion or measure to take.
MR. BARR: How did you see the evolution or the development of the attitudes in the Republican NRDs or the basin as a whole evolve over this 10- or 15- or 20-year period, just --
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, you know, I really didn't talk to a relative or anybody that agreed with what I was doing.
(Laughter.)
And, you know, nowadays, I mean, I'm just the contrast from totally against any kind of control of the water I own under my land, which wasn't in statute, but, you know, in their mind, to, yeah, the whole state needs to get on board with this. We need to control the use so our grandchildren have the water available in the future. So, it's been a remarkable evolution, but you think about other things in the political process, our country, whatever, we've had the same type of evolution, not always good, but a tremendous evolution. And it just was step by step, I guess. First of all, I would say, meters and people threatening people that wanted to put meters on or read meters or just wouldn't put meters on. That small number, and then we go to, after I was on the board, some controls and things. So, it's just been a little by little, and the general feelings. Once the issue went to the courts, and Nebraska was on the losing side in some aspects, that, I think, really turned the events. People realized that their opinion may be totally different. And you know, the example I always used is, if you enter into a contract, whether it's marriage or whatever it is, you are obligated to abide by that contract. And you wouldn't want the elevator to contract your corn and at the last minute walk away from it and say, no, we'll only take half of that. And, you know, it's hard for people on this side of the state line to see what the people on the other state line thought process was and their feelings about the issue. Then, the lack of connection in many people's mind of underground water and surface water. That's probably one of the last things that people started accepting.
MR. BARR: How much did it contribute to this discussion the fact that we have two different legal underpinnings to this on the surface water, appropriation rights, and correlative rights on the groundwater, and at least at the beginning of your discussion, there was no legislative linkage between those two philosophies? And to some extent it's developed as we've evolved in the legislation, but it's still not directly addressed? Do you have any thoughts on that?
MR. WOOLLEN: It was always kind of a -- something sitting there in the corner, because Kansas -- David Pope was “it.” And Mike wasn't “it.” He was half “it.”
(Laughter.)
And then you had, what, 23 times seven or whatever, they were the “it” on the other side, or just within the basin there was at least probably 15 to 20 “its” on the other side. So, it was difficult. When you have two people that their word is pretty much final, negotiations are much easier than if you've got one person that represents a side and can express the views of that side, but then on the other side, you have kind of a wishy-washy situation, because I got to go back and talk to other people about this. So, I think it affected it, but Kansas understood it. I mean, they didn't agree with it, I don't think, but they understood somewhat of what we were going through on this side. And I think it's frustrating for Mike and Jim and everybody involved with it, because they had to present to a farmer board, or group of boards, how they wanted to take something of their God-given right in the opinion of some of those board members. It was a difficult situation all the way through. And in some ways, not the most efficient, but I really agree with the local control and it has taken a lot of pressure from the state for the local control to work or to come up with a plan that will work for Kansas and Nebraska.
MR. BARR: How much is the financing portion of this involved in the --
MR. WOOLLEN: Discussion?
MR. BARR: -- discussion, and how's that kind of evolved?
MR. WOOLLEN: Yeah. Early on, I don't think there was a lot of financial consideration other than finding enough money to negotiate and get kind of things done. I think the original thoughts were guaranteeing Kansas a certain amount of water at a certain gauging station. And frankly, I think -- you'd have to talk to Mike about that, but I would ask him, if we would have went through with some of those ideas and then went through a drought, could we have actually done it? And modeling and information within the Republican was limited at that time. So, it's hard for them to come up with that. But I think as, just as anything, if you involve a major consideration, the State or local entities are doing, funding has to kind of come along with it, because you start bringing in experts, you start looking at the basin and what needs to be done to put proper numbers into a model, so when you do come to some conclusion, you're assured that that will be the case. I'm not totally convinced that we ever came up with those numbers. And even our agreement and what we're working with now is the last say. And whether N-CORPE and all the water is coming down, whether that's going to be the final solution to issues or not it's something that's relieving right now, but how long will it be there?
MR. BARR: I suppose some of the complication came about because of the dry weather that hit about the time we started this process.
MR. WOOLLEN: Right. Well, actually, it's pretty much instigated by the dry weather just prior to. The early '90s was a time when there were busloads of Kansas people that came up to the auditorium at the school here in Alma, concerned about -- and I think it was some kind of meeting with the Corps or the Bureau, probably be the Bureau, the control of the dam. And the dam was low at that time -- or the lake, and so there was a huge concern and that really triggered everybody around here. Well, we got a lot of angry farmers down in -- just across the border. So, it was an evolution. I guess it would have been nice to keep a journal, because a lot of these dates and times and what happened are kind of fuzzy in my mind other than the fact of a ten-year span that I guess I would put them in.
MR. BARR: I remember going to a meeting in Bellevue or somewhere with the Corps on Harlan County and how it was going to take many years to fill, and then all of a sudden it fills that next year.
MR. WOOLLEN: Yeah.
MR. BARR: It's really been an interesting --
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, it was -- that happened again here not too long ago, and everybody's hoping it will happen one more time.
MR. BARR: How much did the discussions with Kansas, et cetera, affect the operations of the Lower Republican NRD or all three Republican NRDs, during this period, in terms of other projects or activities?
MR. WOOLLEN: It probably negated from many of the other activities just because of the time and effort. And of course, during that time, organization was formed with the surface water districts and the NRDs that was kind of ongoing. I don't know the status of those type of things now, but it was good for me, because I was hearing a lot more from the surface waters there than I would around here, because we're right on the tail end of surface water. We don't have much involvement. And then it goes farther east. But it took its toll, because there were just a lot of time and effort spent that way. It probably started to increase the asking for taxes of the NRD because of what they were asked to input. And if you're going to be in the game as a decision maker, you have to have facts and information in front of you to make a good decision. So, it just forced the NRDs to kind of reprioritize their mission, basically, at that time, because this was an overwhelming question compared to trees or wildlife habitat or any other conservation type issues.
MR. BARR: Have you had to do any rural water districts in this area?
MR. WOOLLEN: No. The NRD has been involved, though, but it's east of here. They buy water from Franklin and then go on down towards Guide Rock and Superior area with (indiscernible), and that just happened at the end of the -- around 2000, I guess, when I was just leaving the board.
MR. BARR: Looking at particularly the Kansas negotiations and the court decisions and where we're at today, what do you see as the next 10, 20 years and the sorts of things that might be needed or may become big issues or things like that?
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, N-CORPE, whether that will satisfy our deficit of water. It would be very difficult, I think, for the NRD to impose lower pumping rates than we are now, because we saw last year that that was a bare minimum. Irrigated crops sometimes only 150 to 60 bushel because of -- versus 200 or better because of lack of moisture. So, there's going to be a huge cost if that number does go down. And the best alternative, according to Mike, and I heard other places, too, is to start shutting off those fast response wells next to creeks. And now, they've got enough modeling in place to know where they get the biggest bang for restricting water. And, you know, I would feel sorry for those people that -- because, I don't irrigate all my farm, but I irrigate enough of it to have something green in those bad years. So, that would be real tough. And, you know, the weather patterns, if global warming and everything does move us to a drier, more arid region, or our storms are more frequent and harder where we can't -- the soil won't catch all the water, so we may get the same rainfall, but not be an effective rainfall, those things could just make that restriction even more difficult to overcome.
MR. BARR: What sort of effect would it have on either the cropping system or the economy? How do you see that evolving if that happened?
MR. WOOLLEN: Yeah, and it will be a gradual change, and crops, say, in 1980, there wasn't really much of a market for soybeans here. We didn't really start raising soybeans until the '80s, '90s. And so, you see that evolving. I started raising peas last year. And there's -- right now, our market -- I'm raising mine for seed, but the market is in Gering, Nebraska. So, that's a long distance. But as more peas are raised, and it's successful, I think there'll be markets that move in. And I think the issue of water, people will start utilizing their water much better. Just the meters that the NRD are doing now, the water mark meters are a great tool if people use them correctly. A lot of people will start irrigation systems long before they need it, because my meter's just like their land, because it's gotten the same rainfall and they start pumping water before it's actually necessary.
So, there's going to be management changes. There will be cropping changes, and to a certain extent, there will be changes in expectations. And probably along with that, likely -- it's probably already in place, is a change in the value of the land that we farm. You know, we have inflated, terribly inflated land prices right now, so it's hard to judge that. And we really haven't had good irrigated land sell in this area. But if you cross the line into Phelps County, I'm sure you could get $2- to $3,000 more per acre because they're not worried about a restricted water use up there compared to Harlan County. I think it'll be just a slow evolution to adapt to whatever we have, which is typical of a farmer, just like the mentality has changed from 1990 to 2014. And that's the way it should be, I think. You know, I don't think we should go off in this direction and know that that's going to work. I think a gradual shifting of resources over long term is probably the proper way to do it. The government is really the only one that can shift resources immediately and make a fool of themselves.
MR. BARR: In terms of the funding that might be necessary for the NRD to deal with that and other problems, what do you see as possible solutions or what should happen or that sort of thing?
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, I haven't talked to Mike or Brian, I talk to Bryan Lubeck a lot because he had been there as long as I had. But right now, the $10 an acre that we pay per irrigated acre, as I understand it, they feel is going to be sufficient for paying off N-CORPE. And I don't know if there's funds beyond that available from that $10 an acre, but I would think the funding would be available on a local basis, especially with that provision there, because that, I think rightfully so, taxes an irrigated farmer for the issues that come up because of his pumping that water. So, I don't like it, but I think it's a fair and just way to compensate.
MR. BARR: We don't like high fuel prices either.
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, there's all kinds of things we don't like about input costs.
MR. BARR: At this point, I just -- we have a last question is just a reflective sort of question of any thoughts you might have in this general area or anything you'd like to offer.
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, I think you've covered most things. I really did enjoy the time that I was on the NRD. I probably took away some time from my family, from my farming operation, but I guess, in general, I feel good about the organization and what I was able to contribute in 20 years to it. It, I think, will continue to be one of the more hotspots as we continue to evolve in the use of groundwater, particularly. Now, I think they farm out out the tree planting. You know, and almost -- I would say a large percentage, Mike could probably tell you the percentage, of the mission is involved in water, whether its water meters, volume meters, or water mark meters to measure the water in the ground or measuring well depths to see what the water level is doing. You know, you just say water, and I bet it takes a large percentage of time and budget for that. And I foresee that as continuing. And it may even be more of a, you know, on dryland, rain fed, I guess the University likes to call it now, land of best management practices to capture all the water we can, especially those larger events.
I still see people working their summer fallow instead of cropping every year or no-till their summer fallow. And I think there's room -- and cover crops that's kind of controversial. When there's plenty of rain, I like them. When there isn't, I don't plant them. But I think there are a lot of other issues, but they pretty much all evolve around water and will continue to be an important one.
I think what the Legislature does or don't do, early on in the discussion, I probably didn't mention this, but there was a fear amongst a lot of people that the Legislature wouldn't be very supportive of the Republican River problems, because there's a limited area, only a couple representatives out here -- Owen Elmer was one of them at that time that was going on, that it might be an issue. Now we -- I was pleasantly surprised on how cooperative the Legislature was in helping this issue, because it's been millions of dollars through the lawsuit and helping buy out water and all kinds of things.
MR. BARR: Has there been any specific legislators who have been particularly influential in this process?
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, I think Ed Schrock did a lot at the time. Owen Elmer was kind of in the beginning. And I'm not sure there was a lot of legislative work that he was associated with. But Ed brought that bill -- I can't remember the name of the bill, that you could treat land differently that was developed after a certain date. I think 2001. I don't remember the date for sure. But that has never been used. And so, the Johnny-come-latelies that threw in development just before the moratorium went on. It could be treated differently. That's still on the books, but it's never been taken place. I see arguments on both sides, and I don't have any -- I didn't develop afterwards, but I have a brother that did. So, I would probably -- you know, I understand he should have the right to the water, too, but then again, he helped create a problem. I think it seems to me, 30,000 acres or so was developed after that or something. I don't remember those numbers for sure, but a large chunk that would give everybody else a little bit more water. It would be one less straw in the milkshake, I guess. So -- Go ahead.
MR. BARR: I was just going to say, on the administration of the NRDs, Ron Wunibald was the first manager. Is Mike the only other manager, or was there somebody in between?
MR. WOOLLEN: No, that's it.
MR. BARR: I couldn't remember.
MR. WOOLLEN: Yeah, Mike -- we heard Mike just -- oh he can tell you, 2000-2001, I was on the board just a short time while he came on. And Bryan was there since -- he told me, too, 27 years -- or 29, because he thought he'd retire next year at this time at 30, but then his wife passed away not too long ago, and he found out that he could take her social security now and put his social security on hold for a while and make it that way as far as retiring, so he went ahead and did it. I really enjoyed Bryan. And there are a lot of other NRD people that have come and went that I really enjoyed within the basin. That was probably one of the pluses for me is just the people that I got to interact with within the basin. And that was a real plus for me.
MR. BARR: That's pretty much the questions I have, unless you have something, particularly if you'd want to go into the upper -- anything with your upper districts that you had involvement with.
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, they were kind of the odd ones, because -- and not odd in that negative, but a positive, because they had started to address this issue even before. Now, a lot of people here said, well, yeah, they did, but they just overdid it as far as their development and everything. And they dropped this water level and then they're complaining about problems. And then, too, there's some animosity between the eastern end of Lower Republican and the western end, because of rainfall differential and how that should be treated. We, I guess I hear from people say, “Well, they knew when they bought that land that they had less rain than we did. We invested more money in this land. There's no reason to change the water allocation.” But there is that water allocation differential. I think it's a compromise that everybody can live with and has lived with. (Upper Republican NRD) is a very active NRD up in that area and much more politically motivated. I served with people who came and went because of the tide of feelings. I think, just a much more political thing because of what had taken place, their declining groundwater, the controls they tried to put on, all those things. They were probably five years ahead of anybody else, or ten years, because of the problem, not necessarily because they were that aggressive in their approach to it. And a lot of people took a lot of heat out there on both sides.
Now there is one -- Dean Large, I think may still be on the board out there.
MR. BARR: I talked to his father, Marvin.
MR. WOOLLEN: Okay.
MR. BARR: And then we interviewed him and Don Roberts and Wayne Heathers and --
MR. WOOLLEN: Oh, Wayne? Yeah, that's somebody I really enjoy, too. He grew up in this area.
MR. BARR: Oh, sure, that's right.
MR. WOOLLEN: But Dean Large, he kind of weathered the ups and downs of the political situation out there. And so, I enjoyed being around Dean, too.
MR. BARR: Well, if there's anything else, I'd be glad to hear it, otherwise, thank you very much for doing this.
MR. WOOLLEN: Well, I'd like to see what mistakes I made, but -- a lot of the fill-in blanks are dates that I can't really recall exactly where everything went in.
MR. BARR: Well, and if people really want to dig into it, there'll be a place they can go to find the record. Thank you again.
---