Friday, April 14, 2017

Rogue Bulldozer Cuts a Mile into Fragile South Hill Bluff April 11 and 12, 2017

Unpermitted Bulldozer Cuts into Fragile South Hill Conservation Land Bluff
The volunteer group Friends of the Bluff rallied to stop the bulldozer, notifiy the City of Spokane, Avista, and group members. On Thursday evening, April 13, 2017, about 20 concerned citizens met at the Rocket cafe to discuss plans of action, not only to stop the road and restore the Bluff, but also to protect the Bluff and other areas against these types of unannounced attacks on conservation land.

The Bluff users are often in disagreement about the types of uses for this fragile environmental system. Some want more people to visit the Bluff, others want fewer people on this fragile land. Hikers and runners are often at odds with mountain bikers, regarding the environmental impact of bike treads on the paths.

However, during this meeting, the Bluff users set their differences aside to join their efforts to keep the Bluff protected from machinery such as the bulldozer, which left people concerned about mud slides and erosion. Equally of concern was that a rogue bulldozer, hired by someone as yet unnamed, without a permit, drove onto the Bluff and began destruction of conservation lands.

This bulldozer bulldozed not only through fragile land without warning, but also through every safeguard in place. The result was incredible damage to the land and to the lives of people who enjoy the Bluff for recreation and beauty.

The historical importance of the entire Latah Creek valley and Bluff is incalculable, as this area served Native Americans for thousands of years, providing fresh fish, game, and materials. This area is still precious and deserves to stay beautiful for generations to come in the future.

Link to April 13 and 14, 2017 Spokesman-Review article:

Here's a link to Rich Landers' Outdoor commentary of April 13, 2017:

Friends of the Bluff website has more information, via Jim Wilson, President of Friends of the Bluff
People to call
Pamela Clarke  625-6241
     for Leroy Eadie, Parks Dept. Director;
Councilman Breean Beggs:  625-6254;
Councilwoman Lori Kinnear:  625-6261;
Mayor David Condon:  625-6250;
** Please send Friends of the Bluff a copy of your comments by posting a copy on the contact form
April 10 and 11, a contractor built a road and removed trees on Parks conservation land along the bluff on the south hill (below Bernard and north along the bank of Latah Creek), adjacent to and across an Avista utility easement corridor, and on private property.
There was an apparent misunderstanding regarding the authorization of construction of the access road and tree removal.
The City did not receive or authorize a permit request for this work, which would involve property designated as conservation land.
The contractor has been told in writing and verbally to stop all work. The City of Spokane’s risk management department is assessing the damage."

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