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Concerns about a proposed logistics center:
  Air Quality
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  Environmental Considerations & Endangered Species
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Friends of Rocky Prairie

Our Vision:
 Rocky Prairie Preserve
 

Friends of Rocky Prairie originally sought to partner with the Ports in exploring the possibility of developing the South Sound Logistics Center in an environmentally responsible way. We have had the pleasure of meeting with numerous officials from both Ports and have sought to facilitate understanding between all of us. We have also had the opportunity to create a connected, organized, and empowered community, and the honor of meeting and collaborating with numerous public officials.

With the research our group has done and the information we have obtained, we have concluded, absolutely, that the proposed Maytown site is an inappropriate site based on the numerous reasons discussed in these web pages. We believe it is impossible for the Ports to even begin to address the environmental concerns, and know that the damage to our infrastructure, the danger of pollution and accidents from heavy truck traffic, and the impact on the rural character of this region would cause irreparable harm. We know the Logistics Center would be a threat to the neighboring long-standing forestlands and Washington Fish and Wildlife Preserve with its delicate habitat, and that it would spoil the appeal and safety of historic Millersylvania State Park. We also believe that industrial development of this magnitude in a Rural Resource Industrial zoning designation would be in violation of the Growth Management Act of Thurston County.

The Friends of Rocky Prairie are pursuing a rezone (see Citizens Rezone) of both the Port's property and surrounding acreage, offered by one property owner, to a lower density because the residents of Thurston County and Western Washington want to send a clear message to county officials that the area and property in question need to be preserved. The Friends of Rocky Prairie have researched and presented a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is protection of the Black River watershed, that establishes the significance of down-zoning to meet conforming land use practices, not up-zoning. Zoning of a higher density or a full-scale industrial designation may very well decimate our state’s precious and irreplaceable resources. And though the Port’s parcel is currently zoned Rural Resource Industrial (roughly 40% of the site), it has not been used for industrial purposes since prior to 1993 and is a minimally degraded site (“Brownfield”) with great reclamation potential.

According to a local group of government agency professionals and conservationists, not only are South Puget Sound prairies unique, they are one of the rarest ecosystems in the country. (See www.southsoundprairies.org). On the proposed SSLC site, West Rocky Prairie forms an unusual habitat matrix; both the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy have spent 15 years attempting to procure the entire property.

With the destruction of Washington prairies due to over-development, this presents a rare opportunity for the public, government, and private agencies to preserve an exceptional yet fragile ecosystem, one that is surrounded by thousands of acres of compatible habitat – home to numerous vulnerable and endangered species found few other places. We believe that the adjoining wildlife preserve and nearby recreational park will be best served by the restoration of this native prairie.

What an environmentally responsible act of public goodwill it would be if the Ports joined the growing numbers who want to establish Rocky Prairie Preserve, thus helping to protect what few prairies remain in Washington, leaving a lasting legacy for future generations. Over the years, environmental stewardship has become a priority for the Ports. What better way to safeguard the health and diversity of our region’s native ecosystems than to exercise their stewardship where it is most needed.
 

 

Friends of Rocky Prairie

Contact us by email:  friendsofrockyprairie@gmail.com

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