The Cap Times | Oct 18, 2019 | Anita Weier,
on behalf of the Board of the Friends of Cherokee Marsh
Dear Editor: “We respectfully request that the final Environmental Impact Statement regarding the addition of the F-35 plane to Truax Field in Madison include consideration of the effects of noise and other pollution on the ecologically important Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park and Cherokee Marsh State Natural Area.
The Cherokee Marsh is the largest wetland in Dane County and has been declared a Wetland Gem by the Wisconsin Wetlands Association. Most of Cherokee Marsh’s over 2000 acres of wetland lies immediately to the north and west of the north-south runway of the Dane County Airport.
There is one active bald eagle nest in the marsh and another to the west of the marsh. Though the bald eagle is no longer on the Endangered Species List, it is still protected under the Migratory Bird Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which prohibits disturbing these rare birds.
Identified state-listed species in Cherokee Marsh include: Henslow’s sparrow, Threatened; red-headed woodpecker, Special Concern; white lady’s slipper, Threatened; glade mallow. Special Concern; and Butler’s garter snake, Special Concern.
Effects of the proposed F-35s on sensitive species that live in or visit Cherokee Marsh are absent from the EIS. It does not make sense to survey the developed airport itself for federal- and state-listed species and not review the marsh.
The board of the Friends of Cherokee Marsh voted unanimously on Sept. 18 to ask that you correct this omission.”