Sunday, June 6, 2010

Protecting and Preserving


Washington Wilderness Coalition Conservation Director Tom Uniack and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) unveiled a new sign near the town of Index this May at a celebration of the passage of the Wild Sky Wilderness Act.


June 6, 2010

The Honorable Senator Patty Murray
173 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

RE: Amon Creek Natural Preserve

Dear Senator Murray;

I am writing to ask for your help in protecting the Amon Creek Natural Preserve here in Eastern Washington. The city of Richland is planning two roads and two bridges to service a new housing development in the area. The roads and the bridges will cut through the heart of the Preserve and destroy the remaining habitat buffer that adjoins it (http://www.tapteal.org/pages/centralpark.html).

The Amon habitat is home to the Black-tailed jackrabbit and the American Badger; both are listed as species of concern in Washington State. Amon Creek and the Amon Basin buffer are interlocked as one habitat supporting over 100 species of birds, river otters, beavers, raptors and unique reptiles. The proposed development will devastate the Amon Basin ecosystem forever.

You have written that, “I believe that environmental protection and healthy natural resources are compatible with long-term economic growth.” I share that belief, but I am concerned that city managers often do not. Economic growth is their first priority and they see environmental conservation as a competing, rather than a complementary undertaking.

I am a member of a local group here, the Tapteal Greenway Association, that’s been active in promoting sensible habitat preservation, trail development, and environmental education. The Association is working hard now to protect the Amon Creek Natural Preserve (http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2010/04/29/994948/group-aims-to-save-amon-basin.html), but it’s an up-hill battle.

We could really use your help.

Sincerely,

 / s /

Richard V. Badalamente
Kennewick, Washington

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