The Edwards Agency

Opinion

Press releases leave out information

missing information Re-wilding uplands and stream corridors for fish habitat (to the detriment of private property owners) furnishes endless jobs for government bureaucracies and professional environmentalists. They research, plan, supervise the volunteers, and forever monitor the results.
   So it's probably too much to expect accurate press releases and environmental curricula in the schools.
   Two articles in the Oct. 7 Woodinville Weekly illustrate the point. They describe a Hollywood Hill Elementary School class investigation of "degradation of the Sammamish River fish habitat," and the Army Corps of Engineers' evaluation of restoration projects in downtown Redmond's Bear Creek, where "salmon and trout ... escape the hot water in the Sammamish River during the summer."
   What is never pointed out is that the "hot water" in the Sammamish River results from the Lake Sammamish weir's feeding warm surface water into the river, instead of pulling cold water from the lake depths.
   Nor is it ever pointed out how expensive it is to re-wild streams and wetlands. In 1994, the state Department of Transportation estimated "as much as $6,000,000" for re-wilding Bear Creek in downtown Redmond. That comes out of our inadequate road construction funds.
   To this is added "annual maintenance costs in perpetuity," which in a different letter on general costs were listed at $200-$600/acre. (The reason these budget-busters are coming from transportation funding is because the re-wilding is required mitigation for all the road work going on at the end of SR-520, which ran up against Bear Creek.)
   Last, it's seldom mentioned that experts connect this year's record returns of salmon to previous controls on ocean harvesting, not on planting shade trees along streams, which haven't even had time to grow.

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville