Fast Focus: 'What would you like the future of the Hanford Reach Monument to be?' Land's integrity

April 6, 2014 

Human-caused wildfires swept across much of the Hanford area in the late 1990s and 2000s. Several areas of native sagebrush were destroyed and replaced by invasive cheat grass, a flash fuel that spreads fire fast and burns frequently. It also thrives when land is fragmented. The idea of carving up Hanford with more roads and allowing camping and commercial use is short-sighted because it will fragment and destroy more native habitat.

I suggest driving out Highway 240 to look around. You will see remnants of sagebrush communities that are burned-off and degraded, particularly in vehicle public access areas. What you won't see is the species of animals that depended on that sagebrush to live.

When this land is made available, it should be included into the Hanford Reach National Monument. Human impacts should be restricted to regenerating these areas of natural habitat that we have previously destroyed.

-- LAURIE NESS, Richland

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