With so many environmental activists in our mountains, why is there no outcry about the massive salting of roads? Come spring, our roadsides will be deprived of healthy vegetation and our streams and groundwater will be seriously compromised.
Even a handful of salt can kill plants, including trees, and the tons of salt dumped on our roads this winter is especially troubling.
Salt changes the chemistry of watercourses, which particularly affects amphibians and other wildlife, including birds; it leaches minerals from soil, which increases the acidity of streams and groundwater; and, when combined with other toxic chemicals, salt compounds the environmental abuse.
Furthermore, briny storm water run-off will continue to contaminate our waterways and soil well into spring when a healthy environment is especially important for the reproduction and growth of both plants and animals — and well into the future when the extent of long-range toxicity to the environment is yet to be determined.
Transportation safety is important, especially for emergency vehicles, but salting roads should be a last resort.
— Betty Cloer Wallace