To the editor:
In his Oct. 10 letter to the editor, Mike Ford kindly gives us his opinion as to why the South Lawrence Trafficway won’t be built on the 32nd Street alignment. His “facts,” of course, are purely speculations and wishful thinking.
At the end of his letter the writer asks, “Where are the animals in these ‘new’ wetlands?” He states that he drives by the restoration site weekly and apparently has not seen any. He also claims that the “new” wetlands must not be working based on his observations.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines how to identify a wetlands, and it is based on plants, soil and water. Wildlife are not included because they move around; they aren’t reliable indicators of wetlands. For example, we had 85 Canada goose goslings appear at the site in May and stay until they fledged in July. None hatched there, but their parents walked them to the site from other locations. As I drive to our project office (1365 N. 1250 Road) every day I nearly always see a great blue heron or great egret, and at least one species of duck or goose. Perhaps Mr. Ford needs to slow down or actually stop and look around.
Since the project was started in Sept. 2008 we have recorded 147 species of birds on the site. On Oct. 12 we conducted our most recent bird survey and recorded 39 species and 2,660 individuals. Contrary to the writer’s wishes, the wildlife is there and the new wetlands are functioning very well, especially for being less than 1 year old.