Mass Destruction of Ecosystems to Accommodate the Automobile

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Mass Destruction of Ecosystems to Accommodate the Automobile Mitigation, to the dismay of some, has become publicly synonymous with notions of preservation and conservation. Mitigation is neither the ‘preservation’ nor is it the ‘conservation’ of habitat. Mitigation is the creation of new habitat, or the guarding of an existing habitat to "make up" for the destruction of similar habitat somewhere else. It was the infamous environmental buzz word of the nineties, notorious for its criticism and praise by developers. Criticism because mitigation delays and obstructs their progress, and praise by those who take advantage of loopholes within the guidelines. All the while ecologists are accepting the mitigations like ill tasting medicine in the hope that it will work, after all it is at least something. It has gone so far that some, working within the fields of restoration ecology and other areas have misgivings about sharing the knowledge acquired through their efforts in regards to their efficacy in restoring or moving habitat set to be destroyed. They feel that their successes in mitigation will simply encourage the destruction of more crucial habitat. It is a bittersweet victory , for them mitigation is definitely not conservation. With this clarification of mitigation in mind the development of transportation technologies is faced with a dilemma. A way to transport people, goods and services along the surface of the earth in a manner unobtrusive to the flora ,fauna and natural environment which surround us. If going through, or around the habitat is unacceptable, what about going above or below it ? Tunnels and bridges have been employed as methods of conveyance through areas where building roads was not feasible for many... ... middle of paper ... ...ficult at best to recreate functioning ecosystems that are so complex. When faced with these situations it is important that designers consider all options for the proposed roadway. In that particular case it seems a bridge would function equally as well as a roadway, would require far less mitigation, and would preserve the vital integrity of the habitat at the same time. References (Taxpayers for Common Sense) (Yes on Measure T, San Mateo tunnel) (Nova;Bridges) (PBS;Nova) (Traylor) (Transportation Corridor Agency) (EPA office of water) (US wetland services)

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