Absolutely! Amon Creek Nature Preserve was established to protect critical wetlands and riparian habitat that adjoins native shrub-steppe habitat of Amon Basin. This unique ecosystem supports mammals, reptiles and numerous birds ... and it is all within city limits! What an asset for hiking, biking, and connecting with nature. In our years of rapid growth in the Tri-Cities we have removed many native species ... both plant and animal. Right now we are in a position to say, "Not here." Amon Creek and Amon Basin are completely surrounded by Leslie Road, Steptoe Street, and Clearwater Avenue. Coyotes, black-tailed jackrabbits, and numerous other reptiles have been living in this pocket of nature for decades and appear to be doing very well.
Hayden Homes has proposed to level the natural topography of Amon Basin, remove the sagebrush and desert grasses that support these animals, and replace it with 320 houses. This destruction of Amon Basin, which lays right next to Amon Creek Nature Preserve, will certainly impact the preserve via run-off from lawn treatments, car pollution, storm water run-off, removal of soil and vegetation that naturally filters water ... the list goes on.
The city of Richland has an obligation to its citizens to protect Amon Creek Nature Preserve. It can do this by placing strict limits on any development within Amon Basin, as well as actively opposing any roads/right of ways through Amon Creek Nature Preserve.
May we remember that we rely on nature for the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. Let us not be so short-sighted that we place our constant toil for money-making ahead of our health and well-being. If we think creatively, I know we can come up with a way to enhance Richland and protect this unique ecosystem as well.
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-- LAUREN CASLIN, Kennewick