Reader says state bill would end wetland protections
Our state legislature is considering a horrible bill (SB600 and AB547) that would end the remaining protections for roughly 1 million acres of nonfederal wetlands. Put another way, this bill will let developers do whatever they want with these lands, including filling them or otherwise destroying them, without any oversight from our Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Since 2010, when a new majority took over the legislature, the majority has passed two bills that have harmed wetlands. The first bill, passed in 2012, started the process of ending protections of wetlands. The second bill, passed last year in connection with the corrupt Foxconn project, enabled Foxconn, which is a foreign company, to do whatever it wanted with wetlands associated with developing its facility. In other words, since 2010, our legislature has done nothing to protect wetlands and the good they do for ordinary citizens and the state overall. All it has done is make it easier for developers and other companies to destroy them for their own financial benefit.
Wetlands serve many valuable functions, for both citizens and the environment. They help prevent flooding by acting as a sponge to soak up excess water. They are vital breeding grounds for birds and aquatic life. They are a crucial part of the ecology that supports our tourism and outdoor recreation economies. I hope you’ll contact your state senator and representative and request that they vote AGAINST this harmful bill.
Alan Reder, Elcho