August 5, 1999 |
When is wet land a wetland? Answering that question is a science: analyzing the vegetation and soil. But it is an art as well. For wet land is a wetland depending, in part, on how wet it is--and how often and for how long. And that's often a controversial call. Farmers in eastern South Dakota, for instance, long have complained that every sliver of soggy ground is officially deemed a wetland and hailed as an environmental treasure. By law, they're allowed to farm wetlands.