In early 2005 I had
learned that saving Stony Valley was not a new effort. Decades
earlier there had been a prior effort to save Stony Valley from
either a power company or utility. I learned that the success in saving
The Valley in the 1970's was a legendary tale and still well
respected and admired. It was around this time that I learned of
Dale Ibberson. If my memory is correct, Mr. Ibberson was the
treasurer of the group that saved Stony Valley in the 1970's. Much
like Mr. Rice, Mr. Ibberson was also involved in stopping The Swap.
However, as with most organizations or groups, things happen very
slowly (a snail's pace really) and unfortunately it did not take
long for Mr. Rice to grow impatient with Mr. Ibberson and the
reformation of a group that had been inactive, dead really, for
nearly 30 years.
Shortly thereafter, Mr. Rice decided that he would no longer be
involved with Mr. Ibberson's group, telling me on one of our last
telephone calls that "all they do is have meetings about having
meetings!" I understood his frustration. No one from Mr. Ibberson's
group contacted me about the website and Mr. Rice's departure left
me as chief cook and bottle washer with respect to the website. Not exactly what I had in mind.
I tried to reach out to Mr. Ibberson. No success past a cordial
"hello." Hey, I'm the guy with the website! Nothing.
(Years later I learned that Mr. Ibberson had his hands full with
getting the old group off the ground, he was very busy. He single
handedly revived the old organization, he was devoted to the cause,
much like Jim Rice was. In time, others joined and helped. Slowly
his group grew in numbers.)
knew The Gap was monitoring the website and I knew that Mr. Ibberson
was working against The Swap; if I could get him to use the Save
Stony Valley website on all of his literature and signs, then I
could do more with the traffic coming to the website. Luckily, that
happened and the now famous Save Stony Valley lawn signs went up all
over the place.
had very little communications with Mr. Ibberson, I tracked the
website statistics and knew people were visiting it frequently. Then
it hit me, I realized I could program the website to automatically
email letters to state senators, representatives and Governor
After a couple of dozen
hours of programming and research I set up the website so that a
visitor had a selection of stock letters that could be edited. A
website visitor could even write their own letter. Then, with the
click of one button, he or she could send their letter to one or
more of the politicians. It was that simple. Each email letter had
the name and address of the sender. It was far more efficient than
Mr. Rice's efforts at getting signatures on a petition and it could
produce immediate results.
At that time my website could send each letter email to between 10
representatives and senators. I kept track of the count of emails. I
also allowed website visitors to register with me and over time that
list grew to a couple of thousand names.
The devoted effort of many individuals, spending hours after work
and on weekends to hand out flyers, signs and information helped
spread the word about The Swap. Every piece of information that was
handed out had the website address. As the email count grew and as
more and more people registered with my website I began writing
email newsletters. I emailed them to the email addresses I had
accumulated, and urged people to forward the newsletters to friends
and family members.
It only takes a few
seconds to have your voice heard! Government only works if you get
involved! -- How ironic, I had gone from being a reluctant participant to
being someone who was directly telling thousands of others to get
And it worked! With
every passing week the email count increased. I monitored the emails
determine if the representatives and senators had blocked the
accounts. I spent quite a bit of time making sure that the
government knew there was a large number of citizens who opposed The
Swap. Other members of Mr. Ibberson's group organized outings and
events which helped spread the website address.
Unfortunately I had no other contact with Mr. Rice. Handling all of
the information on the website, the emails, the updates and news
took a considerable amount of my time. My contact with the others
involved in saving Stony Valley grew too. Many welcomed me with open
arms and I began to feel as though Stony Valley was my second home.
So many men, women and children stood together to fight against The
Swap. Most impressive was that hunters, hikers, bikers and birders
came together, unified to prevent the loss of their treasured
the website cost money to maintain and took up my time, it was the
right thing to do. I also donated money for raffles and paid to
print flyers and other literature for Mr. Ibberson's group.