Letter to the editor- Missing forest for the trees?
To the editor:
In contemplating the restoration project that has altered Cold Creek, Trout Creek and now Cove East, concern is growing over the potentially negative environmental effects the project could present to Tahoe. Those who regularly hike and fish these areas have approached me with questions and concerns. Have there been environmental impact studies done that address the sensitive balance of nature in these areas? Has anyone studied the wildlife in the area including the bald eagles currently living on the meadow around the Truckee River off Colorado Avenue? Has anyone documented and cataloged the multitudes of birds that live in the meadow? Has a study been done on the potential impact to the natural trout hatchery that exists in the Truckee River? Is it morally ethical to destroy and rebuild an area that has had years to naturally restore its balance, and in the process affect the domain of animals and birds on the endangered species and protected species lists? Is it legal?
I have walked Cold Creek in the former Christopher Lake Meadow. It has been close to 10 years since that restoration was completed. It runs through the meadow with the speed (and personality) of a drainage ditch. There has been very little regrowth along the river banks and it is obviously manmade. While there are some fish, they are few and far between in the areas that have been remade.
Yes: The Truckee River was altered from its natural course many years ago by those who came before us. But, in walking the river, one can see that nature has healed it. There is growth all along its banks, there are trees that have fallen into the river and filtered its flow, it meanders through the meadow back and forth and creates the normal contours of a natural river. And there is life all along and within the river. Life that would be altered and possibly destroyed were the area to be decimated by “restoration.”
As I sit on my back porch and watch the eagles flying and swooping as they hunt along the river, my heart is filled with awe at the utter beauty of the river and the meadow. And filled with fear at the thought that we, in the name of conservation, might destroy the delicate balance of nature along the river.
Dr. Maria Pielaet
South Lake Tahoe
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