Voice of the people
Adams County, Ohio, a natural gem
In my opinion, Adams County, Ohio, is the most interesting county in the state for observing biological diversity.
To participate in National Moth Week, four moth-ers gathered Saturday night, July 20, near Lynx, Ohio, in Brush Creek Township and tallied night-flying moths. Sheets were hung on a porch and illuminated with lights. Fermented fruit bait was spread on tree trunks.
During four hours of observation, over 75 species were listed, including a beautiful male IO moth and three different Sphinx moths. Most sphinx species feed on tree leaves. The hornworm caterpillar on garden tomatoes is a sphinx whose adult pollinates flowers.
Moths and their caterpillars are extremely important to native ecosystems, as pollinators and for providing the main food source for many birds, bats and spiders.
Conservation of moths includes protecting native habitat, avoiding use of insecticides and either using lights that don't attract them or turning off night lights that are not needed.
The web should be filled with Facebook and blog postings of all the mothing activity during National Moth Week. Check it out!
Barbara A. Lund
Take necessary steps to fight meth
Despite the widespread required use of the electronic tracking system for pseudoephedrine (PSE) called NPLEx, the meth problem in our state has dramatically worsened. In fact, the number of meth lab seizures in West Virginia has doubled since last year. What this means is that a high percentage of the sales of PSE are still being diverted to the production of this highly addictive substance, which is toxic to a lot of those exposed, including children, and leads to destruction of property.
This should come as no surprise, since the report late last year from the Government Accountability Office in Washington clearly demonstrated both that the NPLEx system does not cut down on meth lab seizures, and that in states like Oregon and Mississippi, which have laws requiring a prescription for PSE, meth lab busts have dramatically declined with few documented unintended consequences.
While NPLEx may not diminish the purchase of PSE for illicit purposes, it should provide sales figures, so we should be able to determine which drug stores are selling excessive amounts of PSE and then hold them accountable. The information is being collected and the public should be able to see it.
Finally, the obvious solution for both excessive sales for illegal use and for the growing meth lab problem, which has been proposed by several West Virginia legislators over the last few years, is mandating a prescription for PSE. Since this strategy has now been unquestionably validated by an objective source, our public policy makers need to stop being in denial and just do what we know needs to be done.
Del. Tom Azinger
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