Posted by Kevin Matthews on June 27, 2005 at 01:31:27:
Dear Eugene Mayor and City Council,
Friends of Eugene would like to register our support for Option 3 as recommended by the City Manager, and supported in the Register-Guard by City Council President Poling, as a specific approach for review and update of the city's Goal 5 inventory in the South Hills.
As always, it will be important in implementing the inventory update for wildlife areas to strike a productive balance between the public interest in improving the existing inventory information, and the public interest in proceeding to analysis, prioritization, and substantive protection measures for these areas with all deliberate speed.
Similarly, it will be important while pursuing timely completion of current Goal 5 work-in-progress to make some fine-grain adjustments to the findings and protection measures proposed for upland stream areas to avoid unintended consquences: so that these conceptually-interim measures do not undermine either 1) the various more general protections for upland natural resources already in place in Eugene code and adopted plans, or 2) the process of establishing more integrated conservation approaches, once streams and wildlife areas have been analyzed as the connected ecosystems they are.
Friends of Eugene would like to thank City of Eugene staff for their fine work in crafting a balanced approach to accomplishing both current periodic review tasks and the additional Goal 5 inventory work which will still practically be needed once current tasks are accomplished. We look forward to the City Council and City Manager supporting these efforts with the appropriate resources needed for their timely completion. We are confident that this approach to shoring up one of the cornerstones of planning for sustainable development will meet with broad support from most sectors of the Eugene community.
While, for the record, we do disagree with the staff analysis regarding Option 1, particularly with respect to maps, we feel that broad City Council support for Option 3 will help staff, citizens, public interest groups, and special interest groups alike focus on the very positive work of moving forward with an open process for science-based natural resource conservation.
Such constructive Council support may be further clarified with a slight modification to the wording of the suggested motion, to align it more precisely with Option 3 as presented, with direction to the City Manager both to complete the current Goal 5 Periodic Review Work Task, and to apply the standard process significance criteria to all upland wildlife habitat areas that were removed from the inventory, and to complete the Goal 5 process for these areas. This nuanced degree of balance will help give staff certainty and give the community confidence in the Council intent for integrated land use and natural resource planning.
We sincerely appreciate everyone's hard work on this deeply important subject, and we look forward to continued positive engagement with city staff and elected officials as the details of the current Goal 5 work-in-progress are brought forward and refined during the coming months.
Friends of Eugene
PO Box 1588
Eugene, OR 97440