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Wildlife study seems important
This week's story that a wildlife habitat study has not been done on the Falls Crossing property should be cause for concern. What is even more alarming are the objections by developer Puget
Western to even allow the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
access to the property.
And here sits the Snoqualmie Planning Commission who is caught in
the middle of the city's desire to have the habitat study, the Regional Habitat
Program manager saying they have been insulted and refuse to do the study,
and the developer who is questioning the need for the study.
Well, it seems that the planning commission would not have enough
information without the habitat study; therefore, any decision on the project
would have to be put on hold.
So who would be the best department to conduct the study? For one,
it would have to be a consultant or agency whose only concern is for the
environment, not for the fees from the developer or the city. Could WDFW be
autonomous enough to do the study in an objective fashion? You bet. Hey, that's
what their agency is all about, protecting the environment. It would seem like
a poorly planned move on the part of Puget Western to upset WDFW to the
point that they want nothing to do with the process.
Or was it such a bad move? They are now considering hiring a
consultant to determine if the study is even necessary ... kinda makes ya go
hmmmmm. Would a consultant hired by Puget Western be as unbiased and objective as
the WDFW? A good question that will only be answered as time passes.
The right thing to do is for the city to hire the WDFW to do the
habitat study and present the results to the planning commission and city
council. From there, the city has the responsibility to determine mitigation
measures required of the developer. Period. Let's make sure all the questions are
answered before a decision is made. Completeness, not time, is of the essence.