Archive for Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wetlands expansion begins as part of South Lawrence Trafficway plan

Bulldozers will soon be moving dirt along the south side of 31st Street. But it's not to start construction of a much-debated highway project.

September 24, 2008

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Roger Boyd discusses the expansion of the Baker Wetlands

Roger Boyd, director of natural areas for Baker University, discusses the unique features and community benefits of wetlands, and outlines details for an expansion of the Baker Wetlands. Enlarge video

Mark Wellendorf plans to drive his skid loader through hydric soil just south of 31st Street this fall, plowing under corn and soybean fields to make room for arrowleaf, spikerush and some two dozen other species of plants that thrive in wetlands.

Whether the South Lawrence Trafficway ever follows his lead remains to be seen.

"This is a great opportunity," Wellendorf said Wednesday, gathering seeds in the 573-acre Baker Wetlands, near the Wakarusa River. "We're going to be creating new wetlands. We won't be doing any destroying of wetlands."

Area expansion

Wellendorf is working with Roger Boyd, director of natural areas for Baker University, to expand the university's natural area at the southern edge of Lawrence.

The $975,000 project, financed by the Kansas Department of Transportation with money approved earlier this year in Congress, includes 142 acres west of Louisiana Street, generally stretching from 31st Street to the Wakarusa River.

The work is the beginning of a mitigation plan for extending the trafficway - a highway project that would connect Kansas Highway 10 east from its 35th Street intersection on Iowa Street, to the existing K-10 near Noria Road.

The new stretch of highway would follow what is considered a 32nd Street alignment, cutting through 56 acres at the northern edge of the existing Baker Wetlands.

While money exists to start the wetlands expansion project - enough to finance grading work, create water-containment systems and plant seeds gathered from the existing site - state officials don't have the estimated $148 million necessary to build the road itself.

That's to be determined during debate over a new transportation program, expected to be a dominant issue during the 2009 session of the Kansas Legislature. The trafficway has been considered a high-priority project for years, but its financing has been mired by regulatory speed bumps, potholes of opposition and anticipated legal curves.

Now, as Baker begins its efforts to add wetlands in preparation for eventual highway construction, trafficway opponents are poised to go to court.

Lawsuit plans

While the main opponents - a coalition of environmental groups - generally endorse Baker's efforts to expand the wetlands, they object to building the road through the existing area.

It's a case they plan to make in a lawsuit to be filed by November, the deadline imposed by Congress to challenge the documentation approved this year that has cleared the way for construction to begin once financing becomes available.

The opponents maintain that the federal government didn't adequately consider options for building the highway outside of the wetlands, especially south of the Wakarusa River.

"We really don't have any option but to file a lawsuit, and to challenge the propriety of the environmental impact statement," said Bob Eye, who represents the Wetlands Preservation Organization, Sierra Club, Jayhawk Audubon Society and Save the Wakarusa Wetlands. "In the past, we've never had to do this because there was no imminent expenditure of funds. Now : there's this expectation that funds will be expended. That's why the issue, at least in our view, is now ripe."

Boyd, for his part, isn't concerning himself with whether the road ever will be built. He's focused instead on working to establish new wetlands, a project designed to make up for the 56 acres that would be destroyed by the new highway and also serve as a buffer from an expected increase in traffic.

As part of the construction project, the wetlands' existing boundaries would be pushed farther out - Louisiana Street would be rebuilt a half mile to the west, and Haskell Avenue would be moved a quarter mile to the east. The state also would give Baker money to build a wetlands education center, plus establish an endowment for maintaining the wetlands for years to come.

But for now, Boyd is gathering millions of seeds that will be frozen for the winter, then mixed with sawdust and spread out this spring across what now are fields of corn and soybeans. The fields will be converted this fall into 55 "natural" areas, Boyd said, and berms will be built alongside 31st Street and North 1250 Road to help the area retain water.

In all, some 26,000 cubic yards of soil will be moved around, in a process some people will be certain to confuse with highway construction, Boyd said. But nobody will be removing anything from the existing wetlands, at least not until financing for the highway's construction is secured - something Boyd figures could be at least a year or two away.

Comments

gccs14r 6 years, 7 months ago

If it's to be a bypass, it should go well south of the city, then, not skirt several residential neighborhoods.

gccs14r 6 years, 7 months ago

Kristen, Google maps shows that it's about 5 extra miles to avoid Lawrence. My guess is that the fuel and time savings would make up for the extra distance. Just something to think about.

sjschlag 6 years, 7 months ago

Finally. Can't wait to visit the new wetlands, and drive on the SLT.

rubix 6 years, 7 months ago

Let us all not forget that whatever Bozo says is the right answer, regardless whether we all have different opinions. The problem with Bozo is that you attack anyone with different ideas and stances on topics. Grow up, its called having your own brain.

Kent Shrack 6 years, 7 months ago

Cart before the horse? Is this another way to invest more money into a project in which completion is still in doubt?

shutnmdown 6 years, 7 months ago

we can't have "nothing"...always taken what was never theirs...greedy.....

Sheila Hooper White 6 years, 7 months ago

ltstella - thanks :) i was going to say the same thing.)i'm a life ling lawrence resident, and like i've said before. you never heard about the wetland until they wanted to build through it. i say build it. i live in the prairie park area and hate trying to get any were at 5:30. the traffic has been backed up past the fed ex building in the past. PLEASE FINISH THE TRAFFICWAY!!!!!

red6102003 6 years, 7 months ago

Why don't they use that money to fix the roads we already have? We have so many roads with pot holes that need repair after last winter. Sure they patched a bunch of them but that just put a band aid on the problem and was a quick fix. But if they don't get onto fixing these streets. If we have a winter like last winter you think our streets are bad now we'll wind up with craters instead of pot holes and it will cost more tax money to fix than if we had addressed the problem sooner especially with the rising costs. Do you really think oil is going to be cheaper next year?

George_Braziller 6 years, 7 months ago

Wahhhhhh. Then take a different route -- it's called I-70. If you're driving every day from KC to Topeka because of your job then that's a decision that you made.______Kristen Murphy (Kristen Murphy) says: Build it because lemme tell ya - driving on K-10 into Lawrence just to get to Topeka is getting on my last nerves. It would be nice if I could by-pass all the stupid stoplights!!

6 years, 7 months ago

It's about time to get this process going again.Build the wetlands and then the road, and quit crying...

chzypoof1 6 years, 7 months ago

I volunteer to help fill in the small portion of the BAKER WETLANDS that will be used for the road. All those that want to join me...bring your shovels. We can even gently remove the sacred frogs!!!Build the road. We can move the flooded farm lands over, and put in a road that will lower pollution, and be much GREENER in the long run.poof

SMe 6 years, 7 months ago

Ah come on Kristen it isn't that far to go a little north to catch the Turnpike for a straight 70 mph shot to Topeka - especially with all them highways you Johnson Countians love so much.

hail2oldku 6 years, 7 months ago

"logrithmic (Anonymous) says: $250 million more flushed down the toilet But instead, the leftwing would prefer that those who will never use this EmpT should be stuck with paying for it.Stupid is as stupid does."Fixed it for ya...........

gccs14r 6 years, 7 months ago

"Much of the present day wetlands area was agricultural land not so long ago."It had been wetland prior to the failed attempt to farm it.

oldvet 6 years, 7 months ago

So we're going to tear up 142 acres of good, productive farmland to make a worthless swamp... gotta love the lefties...

West_Sider 6 years, 7 months ago

Along those same lines...I will volunteer to pay for the 1st grave plot that is needed to rebury all of the dead bodies that would supposedly be found while putting this road in.**************chzypoof1 (Anonymous) says: I volunteer to help fill in the small portion of the baker wetlands that will be used for the road. All those that want to join me:bring your shovels. We can even gently remove the sacred frogs!!!Build the road. We can move the flooded farm lands over, and put in a road that will lower pollution, and be much greener in the long run.poof

Leandra Galindo 6 years, 7 months ago

Who's cares about a road to be built..as if it's going to speed up traffic just to get out of town for all the communters. We need to focus on what's better for the community. Let's spends the millions or billions or whatever it going to take to help Haskell to fix up the football stadium, then everyone will be happy.

Kristen Murphy 6 years, 7 months ago

Actually George - I'm going to Topeka from KC from my job to class - so it's a choice I make but it's only once a week - however I didn't really come here to get driving direction advice. I just came to voice my opinion about how this by-pass should have been built a long time ago.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

" I just came to voice my opinion"And your opinion is clearly that nothing but you convenience is of importance.

yankeelady 6 years, 7 months ago

Win Win. And has anybody seen the otters lately? More wetland is great as is the bypass. Now if they are smart enough to make it 4 lane and a true bypass, we will be in better shape.

jtigger88 6 years, 7 months ago

Yes about time. This has gone on for a long time. Now i can go from Eudora to Lawrence with out going though the city.

Piggles 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm ready for the bypass-- this should of been built 30 years ago!!!!! I work out by East Hill's Business Park and many many times it sure would be nice to use a bypass to get to south Iowa especially if I need to go to Target or Walmart's after work. I don't care what or how many survey's city leaders do/have done about the amount of traffic on e 23rd (or all of 23rd for that matter)- the fact is since it is one of the major streets that come in from KC- there is a huge amount of traffic DAILY. A LOT of people would love to be able to get from one end of town to the other with out all heavy traffic of 23rd street. City leaders and anyone else need to realize Lawrence is not a small town. We are growing and we will continue to grow and that means more traffic. There are a lot of people that live in Lawrence and work in KC and I'm sure they would love a better way to get from west lawrence to Overland Park and back home again without having to mess with the 23rd street traffic and all the accidents that happen when people try to turn east across 2 lanes of traffic onto 23rd from the Kwik Shop or whatever. Again the bypass isn't to make 23rd street better- its' to help those who need to go from one end of town to the other or some of the truck deliveries get to their destinations without having to travel through town. When it is finally done built I want to be the first to drive on it!!!!

LisaYoung77 6 years, 7 months ago

Listen I live in Ottawa and this would be so nice that I could avoid all the fools that live in Lawrence and their bad driving skills. So build the dumb thing and be done with it. This is so stupid to fight over and piss on you all for thinking that this is all bad. We bypass Lawrence and soon you'll be able to bypass Ottawa (probably before we can go around Lawrence). NBD. That land was farmland many years ago and it can be dried up very fast. It water and the Kaw is there to dump it into. Go graceful or get it taken.

Danielle Brunin 6 years, 7 months ago

If you consider the Army Corp of Engineers to be lefties. They're the ones who require wetland mitigation in cases of impacts to wetlands. The Bush Administration has also strengthened the credit and debit system with regards to wetlands (yes, I'm wondering what their real agenda is to).

LTStella 6 years, 7 months ago

"Non-wetlands can't be converted into wetlands, and wetlands can't be converted into non-wetlands"Actually they can, and they were. Much of the present day wetlands area was agricultural land not so long ago. Wetlands mitigation is done every day, all over the world. And the reverse is true as well, wetlands are filled, waterways are rerouted, and "non-wetlands" are created.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

If the bypass is built, here is a view of tax increases that will occur over and above the bypass tax increase:23rd street will become the full tiime responsibility of Lawrence taxpayers. No longer split with KDOT. $88 million sewage treatment plant,which in and of itself increases the cost of community services water and sewer lines streets and repairshouses(with increased numbers of houses you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by residential housing does not pay for the services, they require from a municipality.)public schools fire stations law enforcement manpowersidewalks snow removal bike trails and cross walks Traffic signals - very expensive Traffic calming developers requesting more tax dollar assistance(new infrastructure) for theirwarehouses and retail strip malls.In general increases the cost of community services to all taxpayers.developers becoming wealthier on the backs of taxpayersDevelopers and cars are two very expensive budget items. Both want roads. More streets = more cars = more people = more tax increases.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

The last time KDOT moved forward before all issues were determined brought taxpayers the bridge to nowhere.Man made wetlands do not have a history of reproducing what 100 years or more of a natural flood plain does naturally.The wetlands was here before Baker University.

shutnmdown 6 years, 7 months ago

They always got something to complain about..their is always something for them to want more of, nothing is ever right or good enough for them, i wonder wwjd....

Maracas 6 years, 7 months ago

------ Quote ----------------------------------------------------------------------$250 million more flushed down the toilet for a highway. This is rightwing fiscal conservativism. Much of this is being financed by federal dollars, a source that is also being asked to bailout Scam Street because of rightwing financial policy failures.The old rightwing growth model of capitalism is failing. It should die.Let's propose to make this commuter-truckway a toll road. $4.50 a trip should pay back the coffers over time. But instead, the rightwing would prefer that those who will never use this road should be stuck with paying for it.Stupid is as stupid does.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Kudos and lol for working "rightwing" into nearly every paragraph.

Take_a_letter_Maria 6 years, 7 months ago

Kristen,Maybe going up through Eudora and on to the turnpike at the new interchange will be the way to go in a couple of months.

sjschlag 6 years, 7 months ago

They can't get this road built fast enough.We needed it 15 years ago, and it's just now getting built.

gccs14r 6 years, 7 months ago

Harvest. No getting around that, unless we relocate some grain elevators.

Kristen Murphy 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm coming from Lenexa off K-10 - it's completely out of my way to get to the turnpike off 435. I'm trying to GET to the turnpike. It's not any faster going North out of town in Lawrence either - so the logical thing is to take K-10 and get to the Lecompton turnpike. So this being built will cut my drive time some. Thanks though for your suggestion.

sinkorswim 6 years, 7 months ago

Build it. Should have been done yesterday!

Kristen Murphy 6 years, 7 months ago

Build it because lemme tell ya - driving on K-10 into Lawrence just to get to Topeka is getting on my last nerves. It would be nice if I could by-pass all the stupid stoplights!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

"Please don't associate me with Johnson County. It's bad enough I have to work there:"No one has to-- you already have.

gccs14r 6 years, 7 months ago

The Corps has a long history of total failure when it comes to messing with nature. Non-wetlands can't be converted into wetlands, and wetlands can't be converted into non-wetlands. As for the road, it's a worthless exercise. The money would be better spent building commuter rail to Kansas City. To the person who doesn't like taking K-10 through Lawrence to get to Topeka, I recommend the Turnpike.

Trobs 6 years, 7 months ago

I invite everyone to join my new organization. "Plant a Hippie in the Wetlands"With everyone's help we can relocate the wetlands and it will reach a new level of growth. Not only will the hippies add nourishment, they will add close-mindedness to the flora and fauna which will give the wetlands a distinct look and feel normally regulated to the street corners on Mass St. Seriously though. When you disagree with someone, you don't have to yell "wrong wrong wrong!" What happened to having an actual discussion?

kansas778 6 years, 7 months ago

logrithmic, what exactly does a government planned and funded highway have to do with capitalism? Shows how much you know.

number1jayhawker 6 years, 7 months ago

BUILD BUILD BUILDLooks like a win win situation for everyone.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 7 months ago

President Obama and the Democratic majorities in Congress next session will put a final and definite end to our very own road to nowhere.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

"Let us all not forget that whatever Bozo says is the right answer,"So why are you here, rubix? To balance me out by posting your opinions, which must always be wrong? I guess that makes sense--- but if you're always wrong.--- Ah, shucks, now I'm all confused. (But my confusion must be 100% right, right?)

shutnmdown 6 years, 7 months ago

That fool always wins...it's always about the fools, always has been always will been...and if you can't get to your destination early enough then get up earlier and get to where your gettin lawrence is not that big, just a bunch of non driving fools constantly congesting the roads.

West_Sider 6 years, 7 months ago

You obviously have not tried to get from the West side of town to the East side of town in quite some time. It takes me almost as long to get from the Corpus Christi church to the Farmland plant as it does to get from Farmland to I435 and K-10 in Lenexa.**************$250 million more flushed down the toilet for a highway. This is rightwing fiscal conservativism. Much of this is being financed by federal dollars, a source that is also being asked to bailout Scam Street because of rightwing financial policy failures.The old rightwing growth model of capitalism is failing. It should die.Let's propose to make this commuter-truckway a toll road. $4.50 a trip should pay back the coffers over time. But instead, the rightwing would prefer that those who will never use this road should be stuck with paying for it.Stupid is as stupid does.

Trobs 6 years, 7 months ago

Thanks to Bozo for backing up my other post about close-mindedness

Kristen Murphy 6 years, 7 months ago

Anonymous userSMe (Anonymous) says:Ah come on Kristen it isn't that far to go a little north to catch the Turnpike for a straight 70 mph shot to Topeka - especially with all them highways you Johnson Countians love so much.**********SMe - I don't live in Johnson County. I work there. If Lawrence had more job opportunities I would rather work there because it would shorten my distance for driving. So please don't assume. You know where that gets you. Please don't associate me with Johnson County. It's bad enough I have to work there...

BigPrune 6 years, 7 months ago

When do the taxpayers get to bill the protesters who went to court with their frivolous lawsuits every chance they got?

gccs14r 6 years, 7 months ago

Blue, I expect a properly-functioning EPA under the Obama administration to kill the SLT land grab once and for all. I expect a new City Commission and new County Commission to remove their support for 32nd St, also. The road could have been built long ago, had it been placed south of the river where it belongs. Now, with higher fuel prices and a dwindling economy, I question the need for the road at all. Adding capacity to the K-10 connector and backing that up with a Lawrence-Topeka route makes more sense. Replacing both with commuter rail makes the most sense, but we have to get out of the "convenience at any cost" mentality first.

notajayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

logrithmic (Anonymous) says: "But instead, the rightwing would prefer that those who will never use this road should be stuck with paying for it.""Stupid is as stupid does."Or says.Hey, log, how do you think the food you buy at the grocery store gets there? Could it possibly be those trucks of which you spoke?And by the way, s-i-a-s-d, those of us who use the roads pay fuel taxes, license and registration fees, sales tax on our cars (and everything else), property tax on our cars (and everything else), income taxes, etc. Or in other words, we pay for the roads. If you want to complain about a mode of transportation being paid for by the people who don't use it, vote no on the sales tax for the 'T'.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

"Good to know you know nothing about me."All I know about you I know from your posts, and unless you are posting disinformation, your association with Johnson County is quite clear, both in your attitudes and your employment.

Kristen Murphy 6 years, 7 months ago

That doesn't mean I'm associated with Johnson County. It means I had to find a job and that's where I found it. Trust me - I'd rather work closer to my house. Thanks though. Good to know you know nothing about me.

shutnmdown 6 years, 7 months ago

Half of'm don't even know how baker recieved the land. What if they came to your back yard and said hey, i want to build a highway through your land so your going to have to deal with it, and also were going to through in artificial wetland down too, all for a dollar...how would you feel. This issue is way deeper then the road you are to eager to ride your cars that are contributing to global warming on. Wait til it hits your bak yard

Topside 6 years, 7 months ago

I'd like to thank KDOT for finally going through (maybe) with a different proposal than their own egos could come up with. Baker proposed this plan to KDOT over 10 yrs ago!! It was an alternative to simply cutting the wetlands in half. sheesh.

Thats_messed_up 6 years, 7 months ago

BUILD BUILD BUILD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Lawrence will never be considered a "green" city as long they refuse to build the SLT thereby strangling traffic for thousands and thousands of northeast Kansas commuters every day. The greenhouse emissions from 20,000 to 40,000 vehicles idling, starting and stopping, idling , starting and stopping 20 times over-- twice a day just to get through Liberal Paradise Lawrence is many many times more than if those same vehicles cruised around Lawrence through open fields of mud and mosquitoes at 65mph without ever stopping once. Also the wear and tear of the large trucks on 23rd, haskell, 31st, iowa, etc. are the reason the roads all suck. Green city? What a joke!

farva 6 years, 7 months ago

THe main component in wetlands is the soil. Historically, the Baker Wetlands was a natrual wetland due to the soil structure being being impermeable to water. Often, quality wetland leaches soil at a slower rate than in concrete--in other words more water will flow through a slab of concrete than will flow through that soil. Weltand mitigation projects are often poorly placed, there may be a "no net loss" of "wetlands" but if placed in sandier soil will high water loss (many areas along rivers are like this) it requires very costly and inefficient pumping to create very artificial conditions. Just because an area is wet with some vegetation does not mean it is a wetland or condusive to wildlife production/use/habitat/shelter! For example, Native prairies have hundreds of species, prairie re-establishment sites usually have 20 species or less. What will the loss in diversity be in this project? Mitigation does not create equivalent quality areas. There's no reason why the road couldn't have been built years ago bypassing the river to the south, just think how much cheaper it would have been and the fewer traffic issues we'd have now if people would have compromised back then.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

"Anonymous userblue73harley (Anonymous) says:The need for a bypass is not going to go away no matter what the economy does.BTW - for those of you that haven't been paying attention, the truck traffic situation has gotten so bad that residential streets are now okay to be used as truck routes. And as I drove down Haskell Ave. tonight heading south, I was amazed at a sudden influx of semis. They were everywhere!"Trucks have been using these routes for the past 10 years so I discovered. Nothing new.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

If the new area fails who will have flood water in their back yards?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

KDOT is for some reason authorizing this money because someone thinks starting on a another track of land will ease the opposition. However it will be years upon years before anyone knows if the track of land will actually function as a wetlands. For the moment it is equivalent to a massive landscaping project.The wetlands is a wetland because that area is one the lowest points in the area which is why it floods and holds a ton of water. Why build anything in a flood plain?

gccs14r 6 years, 7 months ago

People are complaining about truck traffic in town as if it's through traffic. It's unlikely that a significant number of truckers are driving through Lawrence on their way from one city to another. If they're going from KC to Ottawa, it makes more sense to take I-35. If they're going to Topeka, it makes more sense to take I-70. Truck traffic in Lawrence is mostly for Lawrence, and no bypass is going to do anything about that.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

So how would putting them all on 31st street help? The road is not designed for large truck traffic. Not only that the trucks using in town streets are for local business such as downtown etc etc or street construction/repair. Construction and delivery vehicles need to get from point A to point B. The trafficway would often not be of any use to them because it would take them miles out of their way.It's the city commission and the developers over building the city that's causing the problems of traffic congestion. Traffic Safety commission has nothing to say about street designs etc etc. The trafficway would only bring on more residential plus vehicles and Lawrence will be back to square one. All busy cities have in town congestion no matter what.The smart idea is to take traffic out around Lawrence not through Lawrence. What is wrong with that, considering that was the original concept? The problem began when developers decided they did not like a SOR route and decided to plow through an environmentally protected and sensitive area.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

From The EPA:Long regarded as wastelands, wetlands are now recognized as important features in the landscape that provide numerous beneficial services for people and for fish and wildlife. Some of these services, or functions, include protecting and improving water quality, providing fish and wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters, and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods. These beneficial services, considered valuable to societies worldwide, are the result of the inherent and unique natural characteristics of wetlands.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

Wetlands save states billions, new study saysby Mark Schleifstein, The Times-PicayuneTuesday July 22, 2008, 8:38 PM"Coastal wetlands provide 'horizontal levees' that are maintained by nature and are far more cost-effective than constructed levees, " wrote the authors of the study, published this week in AMBIO, a peer-reviewed scientific journal of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences."The experience of Hurricane Katrina provided a tragic example of the costs of allowing these natural capital assets to degrade, " the study said.The protective value of wetlands was determined by a mathematical formula that took into account the value of the communities they protect, the intensity of hurricanes potentially able to damage the communities and the size of the wetlands in the paths of those potential storms, said lead author Robert Costanza, director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont.Costanza is a former LSU professor.The scientists measured the size of wetlands using aerial and satellite photographs. They determined the size and value of developed areas by measuring the amount of light in nighttime satellite photographs and applying a formula that translates the light from homes and businesses into gross domestic product.They then outlined 100-kilometer-wide swaths along the paths of 34 major hurricanes that have hit U.S. coastal communities since 1980 and measured the damage that occurred in those areas.The formula results explain about 60 percent of the value associated with wetlands, compared with actual measurements for individual storms.In some areas, such as Louisiana, wetlands protect developed areas whose values are less than major cities, such as New York, with few wetlands. Thus, while a hectare of wetlands, about 2.47 acres, had an average value nationwide of $8,240 a year in avoided damages, the value could range from as little as $250 a year in some locations to $51,000 a year in others.The average in Louisiana was $1,700 a hectare per year.Other studies have assigned wetlands a value -- what Costanza refers to as "natural capital" -- averaging $11,700 per hectare nationwide for their benefits other than flood protection, such as acting as nursery grounds for recreational and commercial fisheries, treating urban runoff for pollutants and providing places for hunting and birdwatching.Costanza said he hopes the new study will help better define the value of wetlands when agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers are considering whether to build major restoration projects or to allow wetlands to be destroyed for economic developments."For years, officials have said they can't put a precise number on (wetlands' natural capital), but that's really a lame excuse, " he said. "The burden of proof should be on the parties that intend to remove that asset or intend to deplete it."

notajayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says:"Blah, blah, blah [his usual drivel that drools out around his pablum when the nurses firget to bring his meds]..."Jackie, old boy, if you'd been able to find someone to read for you yet, you might have noticed that the poster I replied to said he wouldn't be using the new road, it only benefitted commuters and trucks. I merely pointed out that the person who made that post benefitted from those trucks. Pity your reading comprehension is still below fourth grade, jackie - school was one of those great sacrifices you had to make back around the turn of the 20th century, right?"You have already claimed that there are far more cars then we could possibly use in a day so."Why, um, no, jackie. You said that. Repeatedly. And it was stupid then, too. Pretty sure it's possible to use 250 million cars when Americans are making a billion daily trips. Math wasn't your forte either, was it, jackie?"It ISN'T paying for itself!"Automobile travel pays a lot more towards its costs than either buses or trains do, jackie. A lot more. Trains and the emp-T don't even cover their own operating costs, let alone the infrastructure. But that's okay, jackie. Try to find your Aricept bottle and don't let facts get in your way.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

kubacker-- as long as you "can," it really doesn't matter if it's right or fair, does it? The end (as desired by "people who really matter," anyway) always justifies the means.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

Does it make sense to spend big time tax dollars for man made flood control when the wetlands is doing it successfully?America's wetlands provide something for everyone --they protect our communities from flooding, filter dangerous pollutants from our drinking water and provide life-sustaining habitat to irreplaceable fish and wildlife. The benefits of wetlands are incalculable, both for our economy and our environment, yet more than 120,000 acres of wetlands continue to be destroyed every year. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wetland Status and Trends Report, 1997). More than half of the wetlands in the lower 48 states that were present when European settlers arrived have already been lost.Wetlands can be the first line of defense against flooding. Just ask Louisville, Ky., schoolteacher Doris Wilson, who hadn't been flooded after 20 years in her home -- until last year. The summer after a neighboring developer destroyed a nearby wetland, her yard flooded,even though it wasn't raining. When it did rain, three feet of water forced her from her home for two months.Like sponges, wetlands soak up rain and store excess floodwater runoff, then slowly release flood waters back into streams, lakes, and groundwater.One acre of wetlands stores up to 1.5 million gallons of flood water. Those states that have lost 80 percent or more of their wetlands -- Ohio, Kentucky, California, and Missouri -- have experienced the most severe flooding over the past four years.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

" It's unlikely that a significant number of truckers are driving through Lawrence on their way from one city to another."If the SLT is ever completed, there will a substantial increase in through truck traffic because drivers will take the (for now) less traveled route rather than staying on 35 through KC.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

The local ag drivers are seasonal. 31st puts them miles out of their way as well....so would the SLT. Douglas County spoke out against the use of 31st. The more roads the more vehicles which is not a well kept secret.

tunahelper 6 years, 7 months ago

the Baker Wetlands are manmade! how freaking stupid!

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