I believe that Richland should do all in its power to maintain the ecological integrity of the Amon Creek Natural Preserve and prevent any further environmental damage to this unique urban natural resource. The city has sufficiently demonstrated its commitment to the built environment. Now is the time for the city to demonstrate its commitment as well to the natural environment of the preserve.
The negative impact of roads on the plants and animals that nature provides us for free is well documented in the ecological literature. In addition to the loss of freedom and the degradation of nature that people experience, biodiversity declines, roadkills increase, and the value of a "preserve" is lost.
The city can also do much more to take advantage of this rare urban stream. Richland has the opportunity to showcase the preserve celebrating its ancient connections to the Columbia and Yakima Rivers and the ice age floods that shaped the Amon Creek Watershed. The preserve can be an environmental educational asset for all the citizens of Richland if city planners can see the advantages that would provide the city. The plants and animals that live in the preserve are ready to teach us and our children about the importance of nature if we let them.
Now is the time for the Richland City Council to demonstrate that it recognizes the environmental asset that Amon Creek Natural Preserve is and to treat that asset with the full care and protection it deserves.
The preserve is a gift we give to ourselves and to those who come after us. It is a gift of life, a tiny island of calm in a sea of hurry-up, a testament to the resilience of nature in the face of overwhelming humanity. Surely we can afford to let this small place and its creatures live. Let us not waste this opportunity.
-- Edward Rykiel, Richland