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Reader: Stormwater projects are not an "improvement"

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Want to see an example of stormwater "improvement" projects? Walk along the West Fork of Sand Creek on the Homestead Trail between Murray Boulevard and Palmer Park Boulevard. The banks have been denuded of vegetation. One lone tree remains, for now at least.

The gentleman operating the bulldozer on Valentine's Day informed me that the removal of vegetation was necessary to comply with directives in the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) lawsuit. No word yet on what plans there are, if any, to mitigate the loss of trees.

I feel for those who live adjacent to this stretch of Sand Creek. The neighborhood will be noisier without the sound buffer that trees afford. The trail will be hotter without shade. Desirable wildlife will no longer use the corridor, but rodents and other undesirables will remain.

Remember there are 71 such projects slated, from the Water Resources Department alone, between 2016 and 2036. One will be coming to a stream near you.

That does not include Colorado Springs Utilities projects. All of them that I have seen use the same strategies of streambed widening and tree removal. Soon we will be left with virtually no quality, natural riparian corridors.

— Eric R. Eaton, Colorado Springs

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