Re: the July 3 letter "Habitat loss from I-11 wouldn't be great."
Tom Van Devender is a well-known and respected botanist, but his assertion that "Habitat loss from I-11 won't be great " is way off base.
None of my conservationist friends has ever claimed that I-11 "would destroy the Sonoran Desert" or that Avra Valley is in pristine condition. What we have said again and again is that I-11 would do irreparable damage to Saguaro National Park West and Tucson Mountain Park by further fragmenting wildlife habitat and creating isolated inbred populations in these "protected habitats." Properly placed wildlife crossings can help mitigate damage but cannot mitigate noise, exhaust fumes and light pollution. Yes, there is well-protected Sonoran Desert vegetation along I-11, but a lot more is at stake. I-11 in Avra Valley is an ecological disaster. It's the wrong road in the wrong place at the wrong time. Don't need it, can't afford it.
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.