The farm continues to be a source of interesting life experiences. Usually they have been in the form of dealing with creatures who are in places they shouldn’t be. Like the neighbours cows, and of course, rodents.
Speaking of which, we now have deployed traps in the forest to control rodents of unusual size that prey upon the native birds. Remember when I was freaking out about emptying mouse traps in the garage? That’s a breeze by comparison to “resetting” these traps. Resetting is a euphemism for removing the carcasses of deceased four legged pests. I’ll spare you pictures of that process, but this is how you set the traps—the spring mechanism is so fearsome you have to use a lever tool to get sufficient leverage (and keep your fingers out of danger).
But I digress. Our most recent adventure involved a multi-legged and headed life form known as bureaucracy.
There are several different public and private grants available to support environmental programs and we have been fortunate enough to receive some. Last week we submitted an application for a new grant. I would never want to be accused of biting the hand, but the grant process has taken a turn for the bizarre.
The application process was fairly straightforward, if rigorous. It involved completing a multi-page form on line. This was no surprise. Most organizations that give out money for environmental projects tend to be conservation minded and have a paperless application process.
In addition to completing the form, they asked for a sizeable amount of supporting documentation—land title to prove we own the property, photos, plans, quotes and things like that, including the 45 page project plan that our ecologist prepared.
We scanned all that stuff and sent it in by e-mail and crossed our fingers.
Today we got an e-mail back that I quote here in full because otherwise you would think I’d made it up. My first reaction was to check the date to make sure it wasn’t April Fools Day. Then I had a good laugh. Here is the e-mail:
You need to send in this supporting information in hard copy – paper form, with 7 copies. A process change due to the staff reductions we suffered in the latest restructure. Sorry.
You read that right. An organization that is giving money to people to plant native trees is telling us that because of staff reductions, it is necessary for us to be complicit in the chopping down of a few trees so that we can send them seven printed copies of the information we’ve already submitted electronically.
Kafka would be proud!