Help Save West Hayden Island Wildlife Area
On July 21 Mayor Sam Adams announced that he will bring a resolution forward to Council next Thursday night (July 29th at 6:00 pm) which would have the City study the possibility of developing no more than 300-acres of habitat on West Hayden Island for marine industrial terminals. 500-acres would be set aside for wildlife habitat and nature based recreation. While we appreciate Mayor Adam's engagement on this issue and recognize that this proposal is far better than past development proposals on the island which at times exceeded 600 acres, we still believe that this proposal takes us in completely the wrong direction. It represents an unnecessary continuation of destructive, inefficient land-use patterns which will further degrade our river. There are some places, such as river island floodplains, which simply should not be developed. Locating this development on West Hayden Island is not necessary. The City and the Port should work together to make good on the city's promise and reputation for sustainability by implementing strategies to achieve greater efficiency on the Port of Portland's existing industrial land base and better cooperation and coordination among Ports along the Columbia corridor to achieve the region's jobs and transportation objectives. Current Port development represents some of the most inefficient use of land in our city. It is time to restore real balance to our landscape by finding more sustainable ways to redevelop our existing Port facilities and permanently protecting and restoring this irreplaceable wildlife area.
How Big is 300 acres?
More than 150 Portland City Blocks would fit within 300-acres
Mt Tabor would fit inside 300 acres more than 1.5 times
Disneyland in California is approximately 300-acres
Approximately 60 of the worlds largest aircraft carriers (or 161 Titanics) could fit within 300-acres
The entire Rose Garden, Memorial Coliseum and surrounding Rose Quarter District would fit inside 300 acres more than 9 times over
The United States Capital Building would fit inside 300 acres more than 75 times over
Fenway Park would fit inside 300 acres more than 33 times over
How You Can Help!
1) E-mail City Hall Today and ask the Mayor and City Council to permanently protect all of West Hayden Island (Key talking Points Below)
Also comment on Comm. Fritz's WHI BLOG
2) Attend and testify at the West Hayden Island Hearing at City Hall on Thursday, July 29th at 6:00 pm
3) Post a comment on the Oregonian's West Hayden Island Comment Page:
4) Sign-up for our Save West Hayden Island Facebook Page to get more regular updates:
A New Vision For West Hayden Island
We envision a fully restored 8oo+ Acre Wildlife Area and Nature Park at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers: A place that provides habitat for more than 100 species including bald eagles, painted turtles, federally listed salmon and steelhead and extraordinary opportunities for people to hike, paddle and enjoy nature in an urban environment.
Visitors will explore a mosaic of wetlands, grasslands, beaches and one of the largest intact bottomland hardwood forests left on the Lower Columbia River. A new nature center will provide programs for children and adults about the unique role that confluence areas play in the migratory cycles of our imperiled fish and wildlife populations. Our local green economy will be supported by nature based recreation, restoration projects, and establishment of a regional mitigation bank to allow for marine development in more appropriate locations.
West Hayden Island will symbolize our commitment to restoring balance to our urban landscapes and leaving the land better than we found it for future generations.
1) West Hayden Island's size (826 acres), location at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, and complex mosaic of habitat types make it a critically important and irreplaceable natural area:
· It contains 826-acres of intact habitat including 39 acres of wetlands and 4% of the remaining intact cottonwood bottomland habitat between rivermile 12 and river mile 145.
· It is home to at least 81 species of birds, 9 mammal species, 4 amphibian species (including bald eagles, western painted turtles, and provides critical habitat for federally listed salmon.
· It is designated as Class 1 riparian habitat and a "Habitat of Concern" under Metro's Title 13
· Former US Fish and Wildlife Service State Supervisor Kemper McMaster has written the West Hayden Island is considered "an important conservation asset regardless of its location. Its presence on and otherwise highly urbanized landscape accentuates its importance."
2) West Hayden Island is located entirely in the floodplain. In 1996, all of West Hayden Island was underwater. This is not the place to construct industrial facilities especially in the age of climate change
3) The Port of Portland has not justified destroying West Hayden Island to build a marine industrial facility. It cannot say what exactly it intends to build or when it will be built, but insists that annexation and rezoning are necessary. It also still failed to address issues raised by Audubon and the Business Journal of Portland in 2000 (See Business Journal Article below) regarding collaborating with the Port of Vancouver. There is no excuse for destroying critical wildlife habitat when the two Ports are not already maximizing use of the existing industrial land base.
4) The new bridge (yes another new bridge!) that would be required to support development on West Hayden Island will cost over $100 million of your tax dollars.
5) East Hayden Island is currently one of the most park deficient areas in the City. (The Port does not allow access to West Hayden Island) Protecting West Hayden Island as a natural area would create outstanding recreational opportunities to enjoy nature in North Portland and it would undoubtedly become one of the regions premier natural areas.