Fast Focus: 'Should Richland do more to protect Amon Preserve?' Community treasure

May 4, 2014 

We are fortunate to have the Amon Creek Natural Preserve in the very heart of our community, easily reached by Tri-Citians, a perfect venue for educating our children (and adults) about shrub-steppe and riparian ecosystems, and a draw for visitors to the region. I've spent many pleasant hours walking the excellent trail system built and maintained by volunteers from the Tapteal Greenway Association and others. I am constantly rewarded on my walks with new discoveries, from spectacular wild flowers, to big-eared, black-tailed jack rabbits, a variety of waterfowl, the always-alert hovering red-tailed hawk, and tiny lightning-fast lizards.

Unfortunately, the preserve is threatened by development, most prominently, an extension of Rachel Road right through the preserve. This would require a bridge to span Amon Creek, which means sinking concrete pillars in the heart of the riparian ecosystem. In its April 24th editorial on the city of Richland's plans for an easement for this future road, the Tri-City Herald said, "We do not agree that the convenience of this particular road outweighs the value of preserving that land." Amen, on that.

-- RICHARD BADALAMENTE, Kennewick

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