OPINION: Please take a stand for our river and wildlife

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I need to comment on the King City plan to run Fischer Road through a conservation easement on the north bank of the Tualatin River. My family has lived on the property since 1975. In 2009, 12 acres of forest along the river was made into a conservation easement called the Bankston Nature Preserve. That story is at jointreeforall.org (click on “Explore our partner projects” and click on Bankston).

The city says a road carrying thousands of cars a day through a landslide hazard zone (as shown on a Metro map in the City’s records) will take better care of the land than the Columbia Land Trust and Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District, who are restoring it. They monitor, remove blackberries and ivy, and plant 1000s of new trees and other natives every year. This gives the plants, animals and fish a safe and healthy place to live. The city’s road will not do that.

City staff go so far as to claim that a conservation easement is not a “nature preserve” but just a way of keeping the land “private” and that calling it a nature preserve is a lie. A conservation easement IS a nature preserve. They claim we are being selfish by having an area where the wildlife can live their lives away from humans. They make a point of referring to it as “the Bankston private easement” or even “the Bankston private area” to try to make it sound less important so the public won’t know or care what is really happening. These tactics do not reflect well on the City. If they have to try that hard to get the approval of their citizens, perhaps their plan is not as good as they think it is. Please take a stand for our river and wildlife and let the City know what you think by voting YES to recall the King City Mayor and Council.

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