Opinion

Wildlife study seems important

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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.

Jim McKiernan

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