Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Zoo Interchange would destroy part of butterfly habitat

A section of the Milwaukee County Grounds, near the Eschweiler buildings, is widely known as a resting place for Monarch butterflies as they migrate to Mexico.

Even WisDOT recognizes that, and then says it wants to destroy part of it.

From the preliminary environmental impact statement for the proposed Zoo Interchange reconstruction project.

During the study, a local conservationist and Monarch butterfly observer noted that a large migratory population of Monarch butterflies uses the Milwaukee County Grounds, near the
Eschweiler Buildings. This location is part of a corridor used by the Monarch butterflies as part of their migration path every year; most heavily used from late August through September as the Monarch butterflies migrate south. The greatest concentration of Monarch butterflies on the grounds can be found in trees near the Eschweiler Buildings. The butterflies use the trees in this area for roosting and adjacent meadow, including a berm along US 45, for nectaring. The berm may also enhance the attractiveness of the site by providing a wind break. While there is a population of Monarch butterflies in the study area, they have no special regulatory protection.

And then this:

The Modernization Alternatives would not affect the trees adjacent to the Eschweiler Buildings that are used by the Monarch butterflies for roosting. The southern half of the berm, between US 45 and the nectaring area, would be removed under both Modernization Alternatives. This would remove some of the nectaring area and part of the wind break that increases the area’s attractiveness to the Monarchs. The northern part of the berm would still provide a wind break for the roosting area and the northern part of the nectaring meadow.

And this:

3.17.3 Measures to Mitigate Adverse Wildlife Impacts
None identified.

So WisDOT wants to destroy part of the butterfly trail. What is the impact of that? Will the butterflies settle for only part of a berm and wind break? Will the added noise and pollution from the closer, bigger freeway scare them off or kill them? Will the cumulative impact of the potential freeway project and the proposed construction of the UWM engineering school harm the habitat?

WisDOT doesn't even consider those things. After all, as the agency notes, the butterflies "have no special regulatory protection."

They are just in the way.


Michael J said...

Where is Aldo Leopold when you need him? "that land is a community is the basic concept off ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics." DOT I ask what are you thinking when you want to destroy a section of the Monarch Habitat for a useless piece of cement.

Anonymous said...

It's useless to attack an organization. The D.O.T. is simply a lable for the majority of people who only want "jobs" for themselves and all the offspring they "deserve" to create. EVERYTHING bad is tied to an increase in the human population but everyone is afraid to say so lest THEIR race succumb to increasing numbers of OTHER races and so it goes. Downhill for all and we take everything else with us on the way out. Did you know that there have been studies recently that PROVE humans have a built-in blind spot to this reality? Weird huh?