These watery places are not in danger — except perhaps of drying up too much late in the summer of very dry years. They are also obviously useful to all kinds of plants and wildlife of the kind we have at the E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area in northern Benton County.
These, I think, are the kind of places most people think of when there’s talk in the news of “wetlands.” That’s why there’s plenty of popular support for state and federal regulations intended to preserve wetlands from being paved over or otherwise being obliterated.
Much of the time, though, those rules are applied to lands that look nothing like this and don’t work like this either. The most recent example was the news that the presence of state-protected wetlands held up an improvement project at the north end of Albany’s Sunrise Park, a flat area of lawn that is dry except when it rains.
But areas like the one we’re looking at here, actual wetlands, certainly deserve all the protection we can provide. (hh)