Letters + Opinion » Mailbox

Grass Again



At first I laughed at the cartoon showing our supervisors with a beach grass hairdo ("Mailbox," April 16). Then I recalled when Heidi Walters did such a good job bringing the beach grass issue to the North Coast Journal four years ago ("Bad Weed," April 21, 2011). We continue to report dying native trees, protected wetlands buried under destabilized sand, wildlife losses and valuable infrastructure compromised. None of which was supposed to happen according to the "Plan."

Instead of stepping back to take a hard look at these effects of the war on a naturalized grass, we are asked to pony up another million dollars for a "study." Hidden in this study is $250,000 to dig out two more acres of grass on undisturbed dunes and planting another grass that clearly does not create the buffer that European beach grass does. That has already been proven by university studies.

Ironically Mr. LaValley got freed from his "sabbatical" in the same issue ("Blogjammin'"). His nonsensical science was a major part of the genesis of the war on beach grass. One of his original reports showed a plover nest tucked into the European beach grass although he misidentified it as a native variety. We learned that "nests often fail to hatch in restored areas", researchers were leading predators to nests, and the cages around the nests serve as a snack platter for hyper smart ravens. All this continued while threatening the county with lawsuits if we did not bend to his will. Millions were spent.

Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace tried mightily to justify continued digging out beach grass but in the end had to see light and vote with the rest of the board to amend "the letter" to include some of these concerns. I still hope he will take a walk with us to witness these alarming concerns. And maybe even pitch in with some repairs.

Uri Driscoll, Arcata

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