Careful About IDOT’s Mowing Changes

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Letter to the Editor
I recently saw a news story (I don’t remember the source) that I also saw related by Gracie Mott on your site, about IDOT changing their roadside mowing habits. The change was heralded as helping to protect Monarch Butterflies and other pollinators.

Beware the helping hand of government! Such a simple thing; we will mow less and that will help the pollinators? Really? What will be the overall results of such action? Are they really trying to help, or just save the cost of fuel and man hours that the mowing will eat up. For several years I have watched as various invasive weeds have marched across the area using the roadside ditches as expressways to get from one location to the next. Year after year these patches of invasives have expanded and hopscotched their way down the road and across the counties. Some invasives are only mildly troublesome while others are truly hazardous. Many, like Garlic Mustard, give off chemicals that prevent other species from growing near by. Others can, like Wild Parsnip, cause harm to some people. Will the reduced mowing, in the long run, help or just facilitate the spread of the invasive alien weeds?

Dick Gambrel

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