We would like to commend the residents of “The Dwellings” community in Yachats for their ongoing and incredibly valiant efforts to protect one of our city’s significant natural wetlands from loss due to a proposed development.

This wetland, which provides so many invaluable ecological and aesthetic functions, was determined by Pacific Habitat Services, Inc., a professional wetland consulting firm working for the city in 2011, to comprise much of two privately owned lots along Yachats Ocean Road. This wetland mapping was undertaken as part of a citywide wetland inventory and mapping project, which, when completed, was to be adopted by Yachats City Council to enhance the city’s ability to protect locally significant wetlands through its own regulations.

Unfortunately, the completed wetland mapping “slipped through the cracks” due to city administrative and staffing changes and was never adopted. As a result, formal determination of this wetland’s size and impact on the use of this lot is now beyond the city’s purview, permitting the current landowner an avenue to work with Oregon’s Division of State Lands to obtain its support of an alternative wetlands delineation that favors his development objectives.

Prior to their current efforts to protect this wetland, the forward-thinking residents of “The Dwellings” raised the funds necessary to purchase one of the two vacant lots in order to prevent wetland loss. They were unable to raise additional funds to purchase the other vacant lot in time before it was sold for a proposed development. Yet, these courageous and passionate Yachats citizens continue to fight for this wetland’s protection.

Consistent with our mission and ongoing projects, we wholeheartedly support community-based efforts such as these to protect our valuable natural and cultural resources from degradation or loss, and strongly encourage our city officials and staff to quickly complete and adopt an official wetlands inventory initiated ten years ago to provide better local protection.

Joanne Kittel, John Purcell, co-chairs, View the Future

Yachats

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