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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Mourning a loss

November 2, 2013

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To the editor:

There has been much talk of mitigation regarding the South Lawrence Trafficway. But for those individual animals in the path of the heavy equipment, recreated wetlands and noise buffers won’t prevent the inevitable. Most are going to be crushed or buried alive by fill dirt. As a wildlife rehabilitator and as a fellow being that shares much of their genetic material and fate, this breaks my heart.

As ecologist Joanna Macy has suggested, there are no funerals for ecosystems and for the myriad creatures that inhabit them. Human society has no context for it. But as I’ve also learned from her, because humans are an intimate part of the Earth and because we have evolved the capacity for self-reflection, the anguish I feel in anticipation of construction is, in a very real way, the Earth’s anguish. I and the other humans who mourn this loss are not mourning alone. And, rest assured, we will be going to a funeral.

Comments

John Graham 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Jeanette, are the projects in Florida and Kansas identical in every way? Are the exact same people involved in the Florida project and the Kansas project? Unless the scope, nature and people involved are almost exactly the same in every way between the two projects, one can not extrapolate the outcome of one project onto other. Oh, wait, silly me those darn facts got in your way again.

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Jeanette Kekahbah 5 months, 2 weeks ago

ask the state of florida about mitigating wetlands. google that. oh, wait, silly me! Ron is right, "Never let facts get in the way of a good argument."

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Ron Holzwarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"The Baker Wetlands consists of 573 acres located on the south side of Lawrence in Douglas County in northeastern Kansas."
http://www.bakeru.edu/wetlands

"Beginning in September 2008, Baker University, under the leadership of Dr. Roger L. Boyd, started the conversion of 140 acres of cropland back to wetlands. The project was approved by an agreement with Kansas Department of Transportation and financed by funds from the Federal Transportation bill of 2006."
http://www.bakeru.edu/wetlands/future-of-the-wetlands/immediate-future

"Overall, the estimates are that we will lose 56 acres of the original 613 acres south of 31st Street and gain 304 acres of restored wetlands. In addition, there will be about 50 acres of restored upland prairie and 25 acres of restored riparian habitat added to the area. This will total about 937 acres of habitat that will be managed for wetlands and wildlife in floodplains south of the completed South Lawrence Trafficway."
http://www.bakeru.edu/wetlands/future-of-the-wetlands/immediate-future

So, 56 acres of the Baker Wetlands will be lost, and 304 acres will be added to much more than make up for the 56 acres that will be lost. Plus, after the project is complete, there will be about 50 acres of restored upland prairie and 25 acres of restored riparian habitat.

Is there someone who either does not understand that 304 acres is much larger than 56 acres, or perhaps has not researched the Baker Wetlands project?

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Brock Masters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

It is interesting that the LTE writer is self righteous because her actions destroy less habitat. She is still responsible for habitat destruction and the death of animals, but the ones she kills are less important than those killed by the traffic way construction so it is okay

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John Yocum 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The wetlands was manmade. It can be made again.

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Autie Anderson 5 months, 2 weeks ago

It is a wetlands for sure. With man made dikes and water control valves. Where were the letters to the editor when the highway 59 expansion was on complaining about lost ecosystems?

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John Graham 5 months, 2 weeks ago

While you may have decided the road is "unnecessary" the majority has spoken and they do not agree with you. As communities expand construction is necessary. Accept it and move on.

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Kelly Barth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree Matthew. We are implicit in destruction. However, the more habitat depletion that occurs, the more devastating our impact. Wetlands are a very unique and critically endangered ecosystem, as are many of the creatures that inhabit them. In other words, not all landscapes are equal. Yes, I agree that we all have a negative impact every day. Thanks for reminding me. However, I have chosen a job that allows me to telecommute, and I bicycle wherever I can. These are small actions, but ones that more able-bodied people will need to take if we are to begin to sustain the planet and its ecosystems instead of further destroy them. Building an unnecessary road through a highly diverse ecosystem in a time of decreasing fossil fuels is, in my mind, short-sighted behavior.

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Matthew Herbert 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I'd be interested in a little more background on the author of this LTE...does this individual live in a home in a residential neighborhood? If so, do you realize you are nestled at night atop the mass grave of an ecosystem yourself? How does the author get to work? Certainly not by driving on ecosystem-killing roads in an environment polluting car? We are all in this climate alteration together Kelly- one man's actions that you detest are hardly different than the actions we all take daily

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Brock Masters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

What is the solution - stop all construction?

I hope you're equally opposed to wind turbines which kill eagles and other birds. I am.

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