two state-protected turtle species -- the wood and Blanding's turtle -- are among those being victimized on the highway, along with one of special concern, the Eastern box. Snappers, painted and map turtles also are common victims.
During the spring migration, hundreds of turtles die while trying to cross the highway in search of nesting sites in the Muskegon River marsh. State officials said they believe this section of U.S. 31 is Michigan's deadliest stretch of road for turtles and statistics put it on par with some of the nation's worst turtle kill zones."Highway turtle mortalities in these lowland areas tend to be mostly female turtles migrating to nesting grounds leaving behind a mostly male population of turtles, which is very detrimental to maintaining a sustainable turtle population," said Gary Noble, MRWA chairman. "Turtle mortality surveys were conducted during 2005 and 2006 confirmed that this stretch of U.S. 31 accounts for some of the highest adult turtle mortalities recorded nationwide."
Ohhh Pete Hoekstra thought he just found his cover for his Not One, Not Two, But THREE NO VOTES ON SCHIP.
U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, calls the $318,000 fences a poor use of money that could be better used on road construction in Muskegon County.
But in fact the money can't be used for road construction. The money is from federal enhancement funds dedicated for environmental and aesthetic improvements specifically.
Bill Shreck, MDOT's state director of communications says:
"We are required by federal law to spend these funds on enhancement projects and this is a project that improves safety while finding a solution to a problem that goes beyond transportation, MDOT partnered with the DNR and the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly to find the most cost-effective solution."
Mike O'Malley, MDOT Transportation Planning manager:
"This fence is a low-cost solution when you consider the potential safety, environmental and economic impacts that could arise if the situation were allowed to continue, MDOT is required by federal and state law to protect threatened and endangered species."
See also: Hoekstra flips the bird to the environment for the sake of posturing by LiberalLucy front page at MichiganLiberal.com
More to come soon...