For anyone interested in protecting tree, orchid and wildlife habitat along highways. 34, please email these officials:
- Wendall Meyer, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) MN Division Manager, email@example.com
- Susan Wimberley, help me. Admin, Susan.Wimberly@dot.gov
- FHWA Environmental Program Manager Phillip Forst (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, c/o Josh Ortiz at Josh_Ortiz@klobuchar.senate.gov
- U.S. Senator Tina Smith, c/o Carson Ouellette at Carson_Ouellette@smith.senate.gov
- US Congressman Michelle Fischbach, c/o Calvin Benson (email@example.com)
Many letters and many voices are needed to value and protect this beautiful region and vital ecosystem. And we need them now! This is very time sensitive.
Some important points that can be included:
- MnDOT is pushing the logging proposal despite much public opposition, all under the guise of security, acting as a sovereign entity rather than a public service agency.
- MnDOT’s two main reasons for proposed tree felling are not valid. Ninety percent of his fatalities are due to driver error or poor judgment, so no amount of trees destroyed will encourage people to make better decisions about their driving habits. If someone chooses to drive under the influence, drives too fast for road conditions, fastens their seat belts, or chooses not to focus on their driving mission, it is the tree’s fault. No. Their idea that the road surface is “exposed to the sun” is also wrong. We know the big difference between a forested driveway and a “sun exposed” driveway.
- Even if some melting occurs in those open areas, the openness also invites winds/blizzards, creating ice that is completely hidden under the blizzard, sometimes “black” ice.
- Studies have shown that air and road temperatures are higher in wooded areas than in open areas. Clearing the forest actually lowers the roads and temperatures and applies salt to the roads to keep them from freezing.
- More “open” roads lead to higher traffic speeds.
- All wetlands within 65 feet of the road center are in the proposed clearcut zone and will be essentially destroyed.
- All orchids (including “protected” state flowers) in the same zone will lose the necessary shade elements and will not survive.
- We recently learned that MnDOT oversees its own environmental review process, allowing all public agencies to work together to avoid checks and measures to protect the natural resources at hand. (Ridiculous!!!)
Ask FHWA to intervene and reverse MnDOT’s evasion of third-party evaluation. An independent federal environmental review is clearly needed.
We all need to pay more attention to the protection of the beauty and vital ecosystems of this planet, and to do more for convenience or financial gain without genuine consideration of the larger environmental impact. You have to let go of the idea of doing anything.
What we do to the earth, we do to ourselves. We are all part of a complex web.