Preserve Pond Road

I write to strongly oppose the proposed paving of Pond Road. I am a Professor of Biology at the University of Vermont. For the past 20 years, I have maintained an active research program on the ecology and evolution of carnivorous pitcher plants and insects in Vermont wetlands.

Pond Road bisects a Class II wetland, and the runoff, air pollution, and car traffic on a raised and paved road will seriously degrade this habitat. The Town Plan of Shelburne has designated this as a conservation area, and it is a multi-use site.

Pristine wetlands habitats like this are surprisingly scarce in Vermont, and I can see no economic justification for paving this road. This habitat should be preserved, and not subject to permanent damage that will inevitably arise from paving and road traffic. If there is a need for additional road, there are plenty of areas of mixed deciduous forest nearby for which there would be much less environmental impact.

Nicholas J. Gotelli, Burlington

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