Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Chapter 5, Page 6 Now, Panic!

For this she panics?

A little shout out to Ducks Unlimited a very nice conservation group run for and by hunters. Yes, hunters have a vested interest in maintaining habitats and animal populations. After all, if these places get destroyed where would they hunt?

The Trip swamp isn't large enough and is too close to town to make good hunting land, but it's still important. At least to Mary.


Oscar Wildecat said...

I'm a civil engineer as well as a fan of MQC, so I would like to give Mary some good news.

There are laws that help to protect wetlands. By law, anyone who plans to fill in a given area of wetland must see to it that an equal or greater area of wetland is created (or restored) somewhere else. If the developer cannot do this themselves, they can pay the state or another developer to do it for them.

In addition, they have to show that they are not damaging anything that cannot be replaced or rebuilt elsewhere. (An example of this would be a duck migration route.)

It goes without saying that the details of this vary from state to state.

Local building codes should address the soil stability issue. Swamp land can be stabilized for construction, and the construction plans should show how this is done.

If the developer is either filling in a wetland without authorization or building without a proper permit, then there a legal actions that can be taken against that developer.

The best way to find out if the developer is complying with the law is to ask the local government.

Brad Ridnour (known on the Megatokyo forums as "Oscar Wildecat")

Brigid said...

Glad to hear that. ^_^ Unfortunately for the real life case the local companies involved either weren't aware of those strictures or simply didn't care. There certainly wasn't any legal action taken, so local authorities apparently didn't give a darn either.

Granted, that was 12 years ago so the current laws may not have been in effect then.

Thankfully, only a thin margin of The Swamp has been filled in, though the sky line of that area is substantially altered.

Kinda hard to appreciate the beauty of a place when the backdrop is a row of cookie-cutter houses.

I'm not one of those people who thinks of companies as evil destroyers of the environment. In fact, one of the things keeping me from calling myself an environmentalist is memories of Captain Planet the-show-that-wouldn't-die. I really think that people who do land development and other pursuits that use the natural resources of our planet can and often are quite responsible. After all, it wouldn't make much sense to destroy the very thing that provides their income.

On the other hand, there are exceptions.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

We'll see what happens at the edge of the swamp. It's an odd spot. A few years after we moved here (late 1980s, I'd guess) a farmer was harvesting hay from 'the swamp,' and real estate listings were calling it a "lake."

Those were dry years.