Sunday, October 17, 2010

Highway Commission vote could end mowing and dredging practices that cause erosion, loss of wildlife habitat and decrease beauty of roadsides in Arkansas

Please click on image to ENLARGE. Two hours after this photo was made on October 12, 2010, this area had been brushogged into oblivion. Sure, the swamp milkweed will sprout from its roots next summer. But these plants not only held pods offering hundreds of milkweed seeds but also were feeding milkweed caterpillars that could have made chrysalises and become final 2010 generation monarchs traveling to Mexico and with a chance to return in spring and find fresh milkweed on which a new generation of monarchs could have been raised to keep the cycle of life intact for this seriously threatened species of migrating butterfly. If you want to talk to your Northwest Arkansas representative on the Highway Commission, he is Dick Trammel.

Monarch caterpillars were still eating the foliage of these swamp milkweeds and the seed pods were almost mature when the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Mowers came down the road and crushed and cut them off near the ground. Amazing hypocrisy for a state agency that touts its wildflower program. And possibly worse hypocrisy is touting its stormwater-protection work and then mowing and dredging ditches repeatedly every year.

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view.

To learn more about the Arkansas Highway Commission,  please see AHC  link.

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