Corrections or additions?
This article was prepared for the February 19, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Between the Lines
I enjoyed Richard K. Rein’s little piece (U.S. 1, January
22) about the eagles (bald) and me (not bald) . . . I think. Although
I laughed, I came away with a feeling that somehow you had marginalized
the importance of bald eagles in our back yard. In fact, it came across
as a "nimby" article: eagles are OK over there, but not here
where they might slow down sprawl. A zillion people walk the towpath
every year, and now there is a chance to see the most majestic bird
in North America during this stroll. I think that’s a lot different
than gathering up the kids in the SUV and heading off to Cape May
for a wild eagle chase.
Also, I think you did a bit of a disservice to the now two-year process
called the Penns Neck Area EIS. Did you know that what you call the
"Millstone Bypass", which is a possible roadway section along
the Millstone River and through the habitat that the bald eagles find
inviting, is only one alternative available for improving traffic
mobility across Route 1 at Washington Road? It is thus not "either/or"
as implied in your column. We can have not only improved mobility
on Washington Road but also keep the habitat for the eagles and other
species. That is the goal of this "muckraker".
Yes, bald eagles are coming back. I hope we can continue to have a
habitat hospitable to them so that the residents of central New Jersey
will be able to experience the grandeur of our national emblem as
it joins ospreys and cormorants and egrets and herons in feeding along
the lower Millstone River. Everyone who has seen this habitat sees
it as a real gem, a wilderness in the midst of New Jersey sprawl.
When the ice breaks, I invite you for a canoe ride up the Millstone
<I>Richard K. Rein replies: It is true that on Super
Bowl weekend I was having a little fun at the expense of our resurgent
national emblem and our region’s now-defeated professional football
team. But Lincoln Hollister and I agree that roadways and wildlife
are not and should not be an "either/or" proposition. That’s
why the public and its administrators place confidence in the exhaustive
research, study, and reporting process now under way to alleviate
congestion along Route 1.
In fact, I am not surprised that the eagles (bald ones) are makinig
their way back to central New Jersey. Much of the constantly maligned
new development in towns like West Windsor and Plainsboro turns out
to be tightly clustered, and anything but sprawling. Both of those
townships have aggressive open space programs, which is good news
for the eagles. Now these towns especially want some better highways
to link their developments to the rest of the community. That would
be good news for people.
As for the canoe ride up the Millstone, I will join you, Lincoln,
if you will take a ride with me through some of those clustered developments.
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