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Thread: Texas pitcher plant site in peril

  1. #1

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    Texas pitcher plant site in peril

    Hi Folks:

    I'm sending in our public comment to a USACE public notice about a road that is planned to be put through a pitcher plant bog in Texas (see
    http://www.swf.usace.army.mil/pubdat...2009-00404.pdf). Public comment has been extended until tomorrow, Jan. 27. Among several issues here is that the compensation for destroying part of a pitcher plant bog will go to a mitigation bank for FLOODPLAIN species. Mitigation should go to restoring, purchasing, or creating in-kind pitcher plant habitat, not floodplain habitat.

    I've talked to the Corps representative mentioned in the notice and he was very helpful and sincerely interested in constructive public comment. Here's you chance to make a suggestion.

    Sincerely,

    Phil Sheridan, Ph.D.
    Director
    Meadowview Biological
    Research Station

  2. #2
    BobZ's Avatar
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    I agree that the proposed mitigation is inadequate:
    Therefore, the applicant has proposed a preliminary compensatory mitigation plan involving the acquisition of wetland credits from the Pineywoods Mitigation Bank. The bank is located in the Neches River floodplain, and the project site is located within the primary service area of the bank. The applicant proposes to compensate for temporary and permanent impacts to 2.08 acres of high quality forested wetland at a ratio of 3 functional credit units per one acre of impacts, totaling 6.3 functional credit units.
    The Pineywoods Mitigation Bank (http://www.pineywoodsbank.com/) is certainly not an "in kind" mitigation. It trades S. alata habitat for bottomland forested wetland.

    The statement in the Alternatives section is a strawman.
    However, this street is in the City of Tyler’s Master Plan and it is likely that it would be built eventually.
    City Master Plans can be changed when important ecological considerations surface.

    You can see the S. alata bog area on Google Earth at
    32.330° Latitude and -95.345° longitude. Photos coverage is available for 1995, 2005, 2009, 2010

  3. #3
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    From the sound of what I read,
    it seems someone in the past already tried draining the land with no regard for what was growing there. Another natural area with a delicate and often misunderstood ecological balance is at the cutting edge of yet another supermarket/condo development/parking lot. Sad situation. If these areas are indeed rare in the state, it should have been obtained as a state preserve long ago, instead of waiting until it was even remotely damaged by its previous or/and current owners.
    From the proposal, it is obvious that a narrow vision of what "progress" is, is being held to and planned around. A "preserve" located at the center of a shopping mall that contained rare and unique plants would be a better and long lasting draw for the stores themselves, than just building another shopping center "clone" with only the normal Starbucks or Walmart.

    These people are missing an opportunity to capitalize on what is unique about their property, because they see it as just another swamp to be drained, filled in or dealt with.
    This crap aggravates me more than I can say.
    It is a bad thing when some guy takes a few plants from some bog, but when someone "develops" and area that ultimately destroys the delicate balance of an entire environment, now that is something that should not be tolerated. But it is!
    There are plenty of places to build a shopping center, and it is obvious that these people are only concerned about their ability to make money off the land they own.

    Sad situation. And I would bet the town council is more concerned and focused on the revenue they will get from taxing some new businesses than they are about preserving some swamp growing plants. Their looking at what will benefit the community as a whole, and usually that means money and development.
    But as I said, if only they could see making the area into a preserve and incorporating it into part of their plans as a unique and attractive place for the community, that they could turn it into an asset and not a problem.

    From what I have seen in my lifetime, a half effort to compromise concerning preserving the environment results in the environment still suffering in the long run, and slowly being destroyed. Then they can say, "well, we tried!" But in reality they didn't do what they needed to do, and only did the minimum of what they were forced to do to get people off their backs.
    Bottom line is you either preserve the natural environment or not. There are no half way measures, as the environment eventually suffers.
    I hope they can work this out. I am getting tired of seeing this sort of thing, over and over.
    And indeed as usual, their "compensation" misses the point. Another proof that they don't see what is really growing in their "swamp", and reinforces that those who do ought to be the ones making decisions regarding it!
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  4. #4
    BobZ's Avatar
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    To make matters even more maddening, notice that the mitigation is the acquisition (purchase) of wetland credits from the Pineywoods Mitigation Bank -- which is owned by the Pineywoods East Texas Investment Partners, LLC.
    We are pleased to announce today the purchase of the nation’s second largest wetland mitigation credit bank from GMO, Neches River Corridor, LP for approximately $16.2 million by the Pineywoods East Texas Investment Partners, LLC (PETIP).
    So, there is money to be made by selling wetland credits to developers as offsetting mitigation when they destroy wetlands elsewhere. It would be interesting to investigate the profits associated with owning a mitigation credit bank.

  5. #5
    Aristoloingulamata Dexenthes's Avatar
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    Tragic... I wish I lived in that community - I would speak at the public meetings like I do in my own community.
    LOOKING FOR: N. (argentii x bicalcarata) x {[(lingulata x edwardsiana) x (naga x hamata)] x [(klossii x undulatifolia) x (aristolochioides x rajah)]} Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=124586

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    Tis truly unfortunate. Sadly, often speaking publicly at meetings ostensibly held to all for "public comment" are just another way to say, "Yeah, we hear you, and we are going to do it anyway." I know. I have attended such meetings. Another story, also about Texas and California as well. There was a small family owned business in California that owned one of the last old growth redwood forests. They were using a selection harvest system and operated responsibly. That company was purchased by a company from Houston Texas. The purchase was financed by junk bonds. This was the 80's... The purchasing company begun to clearcut the redwoods - to retire the bond debt!!!!! And the worthless owner said he believed in the golden rule, he who has the gold rules. Same old story. Someone owns a piece of property - that probably should have never been privately owned, and is offered so much for it they can't resist. Then it gets developed.

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