Rejoice, my brethren and cistern, in America's ever-increasing wetlands:
More people building ponds for golf courses and subdivisions or to retain stormwater and wastewater helped create the nation's first net gain in wetlands in a half-century of government record-keeping... Bush administration officials cast the report as evidence that the nation has turned a corner on years of wetlands losses.That sounds like something they'd do, alright.
This is an exciting new possibility for mitigation banking: we can drain and develop our remaining coastal marshes, build a couple hundred more golf courses above the Ogallala aquifer, and come out ahead!
As you might expect, scientists and environmental groups aren't buying this claim. And hunting advocacy groups don't like it much, either. While the combination of a golf course and canned hunting range might appeal to faux-sportsmen like Dick Cheney, the majority of hunters prefer to pursue their gruesome hobby in actual marshes.
Gale Norton explains why everyone but BushCo (and its dead-eyed apparatchiks) has it wrong:
"A significant amount of the increase has been in ponds," Norton said. "People like having ponds as an amenity. ... Even ponds that are not a high quality of wetlands are better than not having wetlands."And really, that's what our choice boils down to, doesn't it? It's glorified puddles or nothing for us, because everyone knows that protecting real wetlands destroys the economy and makes the little baby Jesus weep holt salt tears.
If enough people pissed on Gale Norton's grave, would that qualify it as a "wetland"? Some sweet day, I hope to find out.