Letter: Shrinking habitat

July 3, 2014 

"Where did all the animals go?"

I recently returned from spending a great Father's Day weekend with my dad in Maple Valley on the west side. He lives in a fast disappearing rural setting and has in years past enjoyed visits from a mama black bear and her cubs, mating wood ducks, mama deer and her does and an occasional curious cougar peeking in his sliding glass door on the back deck that overlooks a small, free-flowing pond.

I asked dad about all of the building going on within a mile of his very peaceful and natural landscape. Dad said, "The animals do not come around anymore since the new road was built in the middle of the previously unspoiled forest."

The road was deemed a necessity to allow faster vehicle access to the new Maple Valley Fred Meyer store and the Maple Valley Village of retail shops. The really great news is that I no longer have to drive the extra four miles to the Covington Fred Meyer the next time I visit my dad! I sure will miss those animals.

CHRIS HOPKINS, Richland

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