For decades the 826-acres of wildlife habitat on West Hayden Island has been one of the most conflicted parcels in the Metro Region. Portland Audubon has been working since the 1980s to protect this habitat and Audubon activists have repeatedly played a key role in opposing industrial development on West Hayden Island.
Over the past couple of years, the site’s owner, the Port of Portland, has recognized that the site is not needed for marine industrial development and has endorsed protecting the island as a natural area while continuing to use a portion of the site as a dredge disposal area. After decades of disagreement, the Port and Portland Audubon have been working collaboratively to advance a permanent protection strategy. Both the Port and Portland Audubon support making West Hayden Island a priority for acquisition with 2019 Greenspace Bond Measure Funds.
West Hayden Island is one of the largest and most significant and unique unprotected natural resource sites in the region. At 826-acres, West Hayden Island is almost entirely in the floodplain and contains one of the largest intact stands of bottomland cottonwood and ash forests on the Lower Columbia River. It provides important shallow water habitat for federally listed salmon. Its complex mosaic of bottomland forest, wetlands and meadows provide habitat for more than 100 species including several species of concern. When fully protected, it will be one of the largest additions to the regional system of natural areas in decades.
This is a win-win. After decades of conflict, the stars have aligned on West Hayden Island and protection of this amazing natural area is within reach. Please let Metro Council know that you support inclusion of West Hayden Island in the 2019 Greenspace Bond Measure Refinement and urge Council to work expeditiously with the Port to permanently protect this natural area.
Send emails by noon 4/14 to the following:
Talking Points/Key Messages:
- Urge the Metro Council to adopt the refinement plan for the 2019 Greenspace Bond Measure.
- Express your strong support for inclusion of West Hayden Island in the 2019 Greenspace Bond Measure Refinement.
- Urge Metro Council to prioritize working with the Port of Portland and other stakeholders to permanently protect West Hayden Island.
- This represents an amazing opportunity to move forward together to protect one of the region’s largest and most valuable natural areas and to transcend decades of conflict.
- The 826-acres of wildlife habitat on West Hayden Island
- Provide critically important shallow water and off channel habitat for federally listed salmon and steelhead
- Include a complex mosaic of wetlands, meadows and one of the largest stands of intact bottomland forest on the lower Columbia
- Provide habitat for more than 100 species of terrestrial wildlife including several imperiled species
- Sits almost entirely in the floodplain and was almost completely submerged during the 1996 floods
- Will provide amazing and unique opportunities for the public to enjoy nature
- Have tremendous restoration potential, in particular to increase and improve salmonid habitat
- Provides an incredible opportunity to advance Metro’s goals related to habitat protection, access to nature and equity.