Letter: wetlands are essential | NevadaAppeal.com

Letter: wetlands are essential

by N. Laird

Since when are 20 acres of natural, spring-fed wetlands in Carson City/Eagle Valley equal to 20 acres of dry, cow-dung fields in Washoe Valley? They are nowhere near the same, but the Nevada Department of Transportation would have us believe that they are.

Wetlands are fragile, sophisticated systems of underground springs and rivers. They are places where wild irises can grow and where marsh dwellers live; where song birds nest in reeds, bushes and trees. Additionally, wetlands are able to filter impurities from the water and in many cases, wetlands are valuable flood control areas. They also provide aesthetic views away from the overbuilt sites of their surrounding areas. NDOT needs to find an alternate route for their handiwork that does not involve the 20 acres of wetlands.

The debacle in Washoe Valley called “mitigated wetlands” has none of the amenities of wetlands. All that the Washoe Valley site appears to be is a heavy-handed manmade job of pouring water pumped from the ground onto pastureland where it quickly seeps into the soil. (This water is pumped through a huge casing at taxpayers’ expense, I might add.)

As a friend of mine so aptly put it: “It appears that NDOT has a penchant for seeking out and destroying wetlands. They put a dot in the middle of the marshes and then connect the dots with roads.”

NANCY LAIRD

Washoe Valley