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Growth is devouring nature

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Gov. Mike Leavitt and UDOT have become consistent in their strategy to promote the Davis County leg of the Legacy Highway "to save the wetlands," a tried-and-true deception. In a nutshell, it consists of asserting that there is a threat to wetlands greater than the highway (i.e., urban development), and that building the highway can halt the larger threat. In this case, form a westward limit to development if UDOT buys private wetlands properties on some arbitrary mitigation ratio. It is just this sort of charade that has taken away more than half of this country's wetlands in the past 200 years.

We've heard this strategy countless times. Cutting trees to save the forest. Building water diversions to prevent building a dam. Zoning big lot sizes to preserve open space. Building golf courses to "green' the landscape. Draining swamps to make farmlands more productive. Damaging a little here in order to avoid a greater harm somewhere else.Government - the Corps and EPA, given such destructive state leadership - must save these globally critical wetlands both from the highway and from rampant, unplanned development by imposing zoning with teeth, as it must do on every front where growth threatens to devour the meager remnants of nature under siege.

Ivan Weber

Salt Lake City