Okay, I haven't written anything for awhile because I've been waiting for a fun, happy, feel-good story or event. Unfortunately, I haven't found one and today's entry is nothing but doom and gloom.
An article in yesterday's Washington Post, Gimme shelter -- Folks stick their necks out for Md. box turtles, but ICC may be the end of the road, chronicles the rescue of more than 900 turtles. Since 2008, when bulldozers started plowing through houses, yards, wooded areas filled with hundreds of animals' habitats, volunteers have saved many mini box turtles, most so small that they can fit in the palm of your hand. But box turtles are homebodies -- they would rather not relocate. They have a strong instinct to return to their nesting grounds. A researcher quoted in the article said that that instinct, "...led them past plastic fences that had been chewed through by groundhogs or damaged by vandals."
How necessary is the ICC? Well, it took 50 years of debate before ground was broken. Environmentalists and others tried everything possible to block the 18.8 mile, six-lane highway between Gaithersburg and Laurel, Maryland. Reams of documentation highlighting the loss of habitat for turtles, frogs, snakes and scores of other animals was overlooked for the sake of moving cars more quickly from one county to another. I, along with thousands of Maryland residents, wrote letters of objection during the ICC debate. My neighbor, a wildlife biologist and arborist, was at every hearing in recent memory. Many people tried to stop the construction of the highway and the destruction of homes, neighborhoods, and maybe even entire species. But, the highway is being built; soon, cars will be racing across it. Hopefully, the turtles who are trying to make their way back to their homes won't be splat across the six lanes.
A link to the article can be found on the right. Click on the picture of the box turtle.