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Message - Action Alert: NRS Hearing Today, Tuesday May 8
    Neighbors & Nature Forum | E-Design Forum | DesignCommunity        

Posted by  Kevin Matthews on May 08, 2001 at 00:47:04:


Dear Nature Project Supporters and Participants,

Today, Tuesday May 8 2001, at 6:30PM, is an important public comment session before the Joint Planning Commissions of Eugene, Springfield, and Lane County, to be held at the Eugene City Council Chamber.

Please come and speak or bear witness for the importance of the Metro Natural Resources Study!

For more information, please see our web site:

http://www.NatureProject.org

This public comment session is a continuation from the original public comment session held a couple of months ago, at which the Nature Project testified that there was not enough public information available, in maps or in response to our own 136 submitted Nature Project comments.

Over the intervening weeks, City and LCOG staff have released substantial new information on the Metropolitan Area Natural Resources Inventory. May 8 is a renewed chance for public comment, taking into account the new information that has been released at our request. May 11 is the deadline for written comments.

Since we asked for this hearing, it is VERY IMPORTANT for as many of us as possible to attend and show our political support for the Natural Resources Inventory process. The consensus position of the Citizens Nature Project coordinators is to speak for 1) immediate approval of the current sites on the draft inventory, and 2) a finite re-screening of the rejected sites based on improved Significance Criteria.

It is important at this stage not to slow down the approval of the sites already on the draft inventory. These sites need as much protection as possible, as soon as possible.

But there are still some other sites that should be added to the list. We believe a re-screening process with improved significance criteria can improve the inventory, without slowing down, holding up, or discrediting the overall inventory process.

For your reference, an example letters to the Planning Commissioners from a local biology expert is copied below.

At this stage, the developer and resource-extraction interests are likely to start trying to undermine the inventory process, to minimize what will ultimately get protected. By clearly and public ally supporting ALL the sites currently accepted into the draft inventory, we can help counter-balance those anti-environmental forces. We will be careful to talk about additional criteria that should be added, without criticizing the actual criteria that have already been applied.

In just the few months since our simple beginning, we've succeeded in getting more than a hundred acres of additional natural resources areas recognized and added to the draft inventory. Just last Saturday we were mentioned again very positively in the Register Guard. Culminating our efforts to date, today's public comment session will probably be one of the most visible forums wrapping up the whole first phase of the NRS process. We're at the stage now where we need local elected officials to get on board with the NRS inventory.

See you this evening!

Best wishes,

Kevin Matthews
Citizens Nature Project

PS: Please forward this Action Alert to any interested parties.


====== Forwarded Message ======
Date: 5/7/01 7:59 PM
Received: 5/7/01 8:05 PM
From: Nathan Tublitz
To: matthews@artifice.com

May 8, 2001

TO: JOINT PLANNING COMMISSIONS
RE: METRO GOAL 5 NATURAL RESOURCE STUDY

Dear Planning Commissioners;

I write this letter to accompany my oral testimony at tonight’s meeting of
the Joint Planning Commissions regarding adoption of the Metro Goal 5
Natural Resource Study. I respectfully suggest three plans of action:

1) IMMEDIATELY ADOPT THE PROPOSED SITES RECOMMENDED
IN THE CURRENT METRO NATURAL RESOURCE STUDY. There
have been nearly two decades of planning and work on Goal 5 resources
in the greater Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area. The Eugene-
Springfield metro region is way behind other metropolitan areas in
Oregon in identifying local Goal 5 sites. The proposed Goal 5 sites in the
current Metro Natural Resources have been carefully examined by many
experts and clearly meet Goal 5 criteria. The LCOG staff have done an
excellent job on the Metro Study as currently focused. All proposed
sites on the current list should should be immediately adopted.

2) BROADEN THE CRITERIA USED TO IDENTIFY GOAL 5 SITES.
All proposed Goal 5 sites identified in the Metro Natural Resource Study
had to meet Tier 1 and Tier 2 Significance criteria as stated in
http://www.ci.eugene.or.us/NRS/SignificanceCriteria.htm. As part of the
Tier 2 criteria, sites had to achieve a score of 17 or greater on the Wildlife
Habitat Assessment rating scale, an excellent assessment system for
habitat diversity. Some sites with limited habitat diversity were
unfortunately excluded from the list of potential Goal 5 sites although
they provide rich resources for wildlife. For instance, Gillespie Butte, a
white oak forest habitat that is globally threatened and which provides
unique habitat for many species, didn't make the cutoff score of 17
because it had largely "non-native" vegetation under the trees. Other
habitats that provide outstanding sites for wildlife but which slipped
under the Tier 1 and 2 significance screen include dry habitats,
structurally homogenous habitats, uninventoried park wetlands, habitats
with a predominance of non-native vegetation, habitats with significant
restoration potential, habitats for wildlife ignored in current study, and
waterway-specific habitats. Sites meeting an expanded set of Goal 5
Wildlife Habitat criteria can and should be quickly identified using a
modification of the current Wildlife Habitat Assessment scoring system.


3) DEVELOP A SIMPLE, FAST-TRACK PROCESS TO ADD NEW
SITES. Because there will undoubtably be new Goal 5 wildlife habitat
sites identified in the future, it is essential that a simple and fast-track
process be established to add new Goal 5 sites to the current list without
major procedural hurdles. Such a process must allow for local citizens to
nominate new sites, for nominated sites to be assessed quickly, and for
sites meeting the significance criteria to be easily added to list of Goal 5
sites already adopted by local governments. A simple fast track system
will provide a formal yet efficient process for adding new sites in the
future.


Every survey demonstrates that the vast majority of metro
residents list “quality of life” as the single most important criteria for
residing here in the Eugene and Springfield area. When asked to be more
specific, local citizens invariably state that our spectacular local natural
habitats and wildlife –those found in our beautiful forests, streams and
rivers, wetlands, and meadows – are one of the top 3 reasons for living
here. Adopting the proposed sites tonight, expanding the wildlife
habitat criteria, and developing a fast-track process to add new Goal 5
sites will provide a “quality of life” legacy for current and future
generations of people living here in the Eugene-Springfield community.

Respectfully yours,

Nathan Tublitz
Professor of Biology, Univ. of Oregon
President, Eugene Natural History Society
====== End Forwarded Message ======


Citizens Nature Project http://www.NatureProject.org/nature.html
Neighbors Forum http://www.SoutheastNeighbors.org/sen_forum.html
FoE Forum http://www.FriendsofEugene.org/friendly.html
====================================================================
Kevin Matthews, matthews@artifice.com
541-345-7421 vox, 541-345-7438 fax, P.O. Box 1588, Eugene, OR 97440

 


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