Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More of the Story

I must clarify some information concerning my last post about the Haskell-Baker Wetlands.

In the early part of the 20th century a large portion of the wetlands area was drained to become farmland. Mid-century some preservation efforts were made and later, a larger area was restored to wetlands by both human and natural forces. However, portions of this area are virgin wetlands, with a foundation that has evolved over 10,000 years, while other portions have a foundation only decades old.

I could not find how much of the current area is virgin wetlands and whether those acres are threatened with demolition. You can try to decipher the history here.

Knowing that a large portion of the wetlands is "restored" rather than virgin does not change my feelings about the impending encroachment of bulldozers. This area is home to numerous animals and native plant species. Wetlands provide an invaluable service to the ecology at large, not only by providing habitat for animals, but also by collecting and filtering runoff water and other services.

In the fall, thousands of Monarch butterflies use the wetlands as a rest stop. Doubtless, it also provides refuge for many migrating water fowl.

We displaced the original plants and animals once by draining the wetlands for farming. Now we propose to displace them yet again. Will we capture all of the creatures that make their homes where the concrete will be poured and transfer them elsewhere? I doubt that. They're on their own.

My original point stands. When faced with the potential to gain money, to see "development" and "progress," we shove the natural world aside. Nature takes the back seat, if we even let it in the vehicle at all. It is time to change the way we think about this world. As we treat nature, so we treat ourselves. Corporate disregard for nature seems to translate into disregard for human beings. We are intent on bulldozing ourselves out of a home. We are at a crossroads -- continue on the destructive path or raise our consciousness?

I stand as witness. Whatever happens.

No comments: