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Old 04-30-2010, 11:35 AM   #1
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Default Biodiversity along Texas highways, then and now

Biodiversity along Texas highways, then and now
TxDOT, through programs like Lady Bird's Legacy, has been promoting biodiversity since 1932, though experts say some metaphorical weeds grow in this roadside garden
Updated: 6:10 p.m. Friday, April 23, 2010
Published: 5:14 p.m. Friday, April 23, 2010

Biodiversity along Texas highways, then and now
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From 1917 to 1948, while Bedichek was crisscrossing Texas as director of the University Interscholastic League, he witnessed the state's most visible ecological disaster: overgrazing. The practice of fencing in too much livestock, which stripped the topsoil from Texas ranchlands, leaving it vulnerable to undesirable, thirsty species like saltcedar and mesquite.

In contrast, the rights-of-way along the state's new highways appeared to be paragons of biodiversity. In "Adventures," Bedichek praised the landscape experts of the Texas Department of Transportation who, beginning in 1932, promoted indigenous plants under the criteria: "Safety, Beauty, Utility, Economy...
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beauty, biodiversity, biodiversity benefits, ecological disaster, economy, highways, indigenous plants, mesquite, native plant diversity, native plant habitats, native plants, natives, overgrazing, ranchlands, safety, saltcedar, texas, texas department of transportation, texas highways, topsoil, utility

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