|Citizens Nature Project|
|E U G E N E - S P R I N G F I E L D - L A N E C O U N T Y - O R E G O N|
Call for Environmental Public Input
Dear neighbors, we desperately need your contributions to help pay back the essential costs of expert witnesses and lawyers for fighting the Amazon Creek Headwaters PUDs, including the pending developer appeal of our victory on the Green PUD. You can help by contributing to VIEW online through Friends of Eugene, the official non-profit fiscal sponsor, quickly and securely anytime. Just say "VIEW" in the comments field. Please help today, if you can. Any amount appreciated! Kevin & Lisa
Please see our discussion area for latest info!
The Citizens Nature Project
Welcome to the Citizens Nature Project! Founded in 2000 to help organize citizen input, from neighbors to naturalists, to the Eugene/Springfield Metro Natural Resources Study (NRS), we continue to work for documentation and protection of our local natural resource areas.
Please help us spread the word about the Nature Project. Share your thoughts in our online forum, join our email list (below), lend your enthusiasm, and recruit a friend to the ongoing research and public meetings. Let's save (some precious parts of) the world together!
Summer 2005 - NRS Process warms up in Eugene
June 27, 5:30pm in the McNutt Room at City Hall is an important City Council work session where staff will propose their "implementation options" in response to council motion for review of the safe harbor methodology. Beware of loopholes, obfuscation, delays, and potential watering down!
May 2005 - City staff reveal their current proposal for "Goal 5 natural resource conservation", representing roughly two years of work hidden from public participation, in the form of more than 400 pages of nerdy documentation published online in roughly 100 separate documents - which still excludes some 1900 acres of known high-qulaity wildlife habitat areas.
June 2005 - City Council passes motion instructing staff to review the approach taken since July 2003 (following council's July 28, 2003 adoption of Ordinance #20296) under safe harbor inventory method for wildlife habitat areas - considering the possibility that mapped habitat of a listed sensitive species (pileated woodpecker) has been left out.
Register Guard responds with flatly inaccurate, seriously one-sided editorial as if pulled straight from anti-environmental Chamber of Commerce talking points.
City staff again moves location of NRS web pages to: http://www.eugenenr.org
BUT to locate the sprawling complex of documentation for the current staff Goal 5 proposal before the EUgene Planning Commission, you need to wind your way farther in, to: Packet Materials for the May 9, 2005 Eugene Planning Commission Work Session on Goal 5
The only form in which we have been able to find the current staff proposal online seem to be in roughly 100 separate documents, as seen at that page (and its several sub-pages).
(So much for transparency and supporting public participation...)
Spring 2005 - NRS Process Continues in Eugene
According to the City web site:
That city statement applies to the riparian areas and narrow corridors astride upland streams. However, because city staff is acting in an eroneous belief that the "safe harbor" areas don't include listed sensitive species, they are apparently ignoring the requirement to define protection measures for all those remaining habitat areas between the stream corridors - encompassing most of the upland wildlife habitat areas in the city!
Specifically for example, we still contest this city claim (repeated in quoted context below): "In effect, this removed the non-stream corridor upland areas from the inventory, since none of these areas met the Safe Harbor criteria for wildlife habitat sites contained in Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR 660-023-0110)." But in fact, we have discovered that even under the sleazy short-cut "safe harbor" methodology, if properly applied, the non-stream parts of draft inventory site E-37 and others would still qualify as significant!
To quote DLCD staff, from city staff's own belated memo of July 21, 2003, "Under both approaches, the city is required to develop a resource protection program for its upland resources."
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's current list of Federal Threatened and
Endangered Species in Oregon
2004 - Jobs and Land Use Roundtable Asks Council for Upland Habitat Zoning Study
The informal multi-partisan group of community leaders known as the "Jobs and Land Use Roundtable", chaired by Jack Roberts and Rob Zako, including Republicans and Democrats, environmentalists and developers, designers, managers, bureaucrats, and entrepreneurs, Chamber of Commerce leaders and Friends of Eugene, unanimously sent a formal letter to the Eugene City Council requesting that the city go ahead with an Upland Habitat Zoning Study to evaluate wildlife habitat areas for establishment of appropriate protections. In effect this would result in picking up and moving forward responsibly with the open public natural resource planning process for our wooded ridgelines and remaining forest, in those area in which the developer-driven City Council majority had infamously terminated it (via their post-public-hearing "safe harbor" gambit).
July 28, 2003 - Eugene City Council approves butchered NRS inventory
In the action described below, the developer-driven City Council, led by Mayor Torrey, overruled their Planning Commission's recommendation, and arbitrarily dropped two-thirds of the area of wildlife habitat type (the majority of four major habitat areas in the draft inventory), or about 1200 acres of natural resource, from the standard methodology planning process.
The votes of Councilors Bettman, Kelly, and Taylor on these ordinances and leadiung up to them were consistent with approving the science-based natureal resources inventory as recommended by the Planning Commssion. The votes of Councilors Pape, Poling, Solomon, Nathansan, and Mesier were consistent with after-the-public-process politically-based hacking of the draft inventory (primarily in accord with the stated wishes of the Homebuilders Association).
From City of Eugene web page:
Natural Resource Reporting Form
This is the current version of the form we use for citizen input to the Natural Resources Study.
Please download and print this form, fill out a copy for any local natural resources you know, and return the form to us whenever you can:
Nature_Form-2000.0918.1900.pdf (v 1.5 - two pages)
Although the formal period for collecting sites is over, we will still copy all the forms we recieve, and periodically submit them to the LCOG Natural Resources Study staff. We want to keep collecting and delivering tons of real grassroots input, from everyday citizens and local experts alike!
The Citizens Nature Project wants your help to document the special details and characteristics of our local natural resources, everything from a special spring or habitat in your own backyard, to the details of a major site across town. The government study process doesn't have the staff, funding or time to actually go into the field and see what is there, where the water is, what special plants, animals, topography, and geology. But we, the citizens who inhabit and love this local green landscape, we already know what is out there! All we have to do is work together and write it all down, using this simple one page "Nature Form".
This is the essence of the Citizens Nature Project. Through grassroots documentation of the natural resources around us, large and small, we can start the process of getting these precious resources protected.
Please copy and reprint this "Nature Form", give it to all your friends, and help us spread the word!
Natural Resources Study Background References
These are off-site links to some of the specific official chunks of information online related to the Metro Natural Resources Study.
There are several variously relevant reports from LCOG and the City of Eugene which don't seem to be available online. If you find any of these on the web, please let us know!
The following report is the foundation of the Eugene and Springfield identified natural resource areas. It documents the original fieldwork and methodology, and even at ten years old it may still represent the bulk of the actual field work, since most subsequent updates have been doen from aerial photogarphs. This report seems to be hard to get, but in theory it should be available from LCOG or the City of Eugene:
Nature Project Contacts
1. Online Discussion Forum
For more background on where we're coming from, and where we're headed, please read our initial concept proposal written by Mary O'Brien.
Kevin Matthews, a Nature Project coordinator
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