Letter: Kennewick Irrigation District disturbs more than the ground with canal project

April 26, 2013 

Go, KID, go!

Spend weeks plowing up hundreds of thousands of square feet of prime shrub-steppe habitat in south Richland. Bring in those bulldozers and trucks and destroy the sagebrush and bunch grass along both sides of the canal. Build huge banks of sand along the south side. Line the canal with polyurethane, so any animal that goes down for a drink will never be able to climb back up the slippery sides.

Blow, wind, blow!

Carry that exposed soil as far as you can -- rising and curling and pelting nearby houses and cars. Apparently the Kennewick Irrigation District doesn't need to wet down the disturbed earth like contractors do. Oh, a single water tanker comes by once during a windstorm, but that little bit of spray quickly evaporates and the dust flies anew.

Grow, weeds, grow!

Not to worry! Soon those banks will sprout millions of new Russian thistle and cheat grass plants, whose seeds will spread to nearby lawns and open areas and be carried into and by the canal.

Show, KID, show!

How much money did you spend creating this disaster? And how will it improve service? How will it improve the lives of nearby residents?

SHEILA BENNETT, Richland

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