West Hayden Island
Portland's West Hayden Island provides critical habitat for more than 100 wildlife species, including federally listed salmon and steelhead. Help protect this irreplaceable natural area.
May 8, 2013: Read Bob Sallinger's live updates from the May 7 Planning and Sustainability Commission hearing about West Hayden Island.
April 30, 2013: The Audubon Society of Portland submitted comments to the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission about West Hayden Island annexation. Read the comments.
West Hayden Island is one of Portland's most important natural areas. Its 826 acres of bottomland hardwood forest, wetlands, meadows, floodplains and shallow water habitat near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers provide irreplaceable habitat for federally listed salmon and imperiled bird, bat and amphibian species. It is an amazing place where you can see nesting bald eagles and rapidly disappearing species like pileated woodpeckers and western meadowlarks. It is located next to one of the largest manufactured-home, affordable-housing communities in Oregon.
However, the Port of Portland wants to take 300 acres and convert them to a marine industrial port facility that isn't needed and which will irrevocably harm the environment and the local community. The development will clear-cut the heart out of the wildlife area and leave behind fragmented, disturbed, edge habitat, significantly increased air pollution, increased traffic congestion, and permanently damaged local communities.
- West Hayden Island should be permanently protected as a wildlife sanctuary. Its 800+ acres of wildlife habitat at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers -- home to bald eagles and federally listed salmon -- are irreplaceable;
- The proposed mitigation to address direct impacts to the environment and the community is insufficient and highly uncertain;
- The Port continues to try to reduce the proposed mitigation package even further, arguing that the City of Portland needs to reduce the cost by tens of millions of dollars;
- The development will have unacceptable impacts on our air quality. A report by Multnomah County and Upstream Public Health found that industrial development on West Hayden Island could triple local air toxic levels to 55 times above state benchmarks;
- The Intergovernmental Agreement between the City and the Port shifts the costs of site preparation and community and environmental mitigation to unidentified third party sources of funding, such as the taxpayers. If third party funding can't be found, then the Port can renegotiate the mitigation or terminate the agreement;
- The Port has rejected provisions that would tie public investment to job targets -- they want our money, but they refuse to guarantee even minimal job targets;
- The Port has steadfastly refused to make real efforts to work with other businesses along the Columbia River to maximize the efficiency of the existing land base -- why are we building new Port facilities on irreplaceable wildlife areas when other nearby Ports are turning to coal to fill their vacant land?
This project is BAD for our economy, bad for our community and bad for the environment! It is time to say "no" to development on West Hayden Island!
Ways to Help
1. While the May 7 public hearing is over, you can submit comments via email until May 14. Email comments to the Planning and Sustainability Commission and Cc the City Council:
2. Follow efforts to "Save West Hayden Island" on Facebook.
Documentation and Media
Key documentation about West Hayden Island annexation and rezoning, and media highlights and press releases about West Hayden Island.
Letters opposing development of West Hayden Island or highlighting concerns with West Hayden Island annexation and rezoning plans.
Read Portland Audubon conservation director Bob Sallinger's latest updates about West Hayden Island.
History and Natural Resources Summary
West Hayden Island is arguably one of the most valuable pieces of unprotected habitat left in the Portland metropolitan region. Read an account of the area's natural resources, view a map showing West Hayden Island in the context of nearby natural areas, and learn more about the Port's previous attempt to annex and rezone West Hayden Island.