Letters: Richland must honor its comprehensive plan

August 30, 2013 

Richland wants to destroy conservation efforts in the Amon Basin by extending Center Parkway from Steptoe to Rachel Road.

The city is also considering a proposal for 460 new single family homes to be built between Claybell Park, Amon Preserve and the railroad tracks. The developer’s environmental checklist claims no significant habitat, no wildlife and no recreation in the area!

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife lists Amon Basin as priority habitat, with 25 shrub steppe species. Audubon counts 150 bird species there, including ferruginous hawk, state listed as threatened, and of federal concern. Research shows each mated pair needs 2.5 square miles to survive.

When habitat is destroyed, wildlife can’t just move. Some are buried alive. Those escaping are hit by cars, or forced into the territory of other creatures, where they must fight for food and space. In the case of ferruginous hawks that’s likely a fight to the death.

Those of us living “in town” should not have to pay for the convenience of those who choose a “rural lifestyle.” Richland should honor its Comprehensive Plan; give up on the Center Parkway nonsense, and deny the current application for homes. Both hurt our quality of life. Ginger Wireman, Richland

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