Judd Road plans a concern

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 9

To the Editor:

At a December Eagle Creek CPO meeting, we listened carefully to the concerns of our neighbors among the Judd Road community in relation to Don Jensen's plans for the property he purchased adjacent to the American Sand and Gravel site. We wish to add our support and concern to that neighborhood group.

Mr. Jensen has also expressed a desire to develop a full-scale aggregate mining operation located along the Folsom Road property currently owned by Mr. Frank Bastasch and his wife, who are also the owners of the Eagle Creek Golf course, which is managed locally by Frank's brother John Bastach.

The community may remember a few years back when Mr. Jansic, of RC Rock, indicated similar interest in the Folsom Road property and a large segment of the community came forward to oppose such a development. Although plans were dropped, it has been quiet until Mr. Jensen voiced his plans to reopen that development.'

We share similar concerns to the folks of the Judd Road area with regard to potential danger to local wells, contamination of local creeks, negative effects on adjoining properties, danger to children and local residents due to large-scale truck traffic, concerns for the impact on local animals and other wildlife, increased noise, dust and dirt and road damage.

We encourage the community to give attention to future notices regarding both of these areas as we believe it will ultimately impact the entire community in adverse ways.

Tom Sparks

President, Eagle Creek Neighborhood Association

Group working on tree ordinance

To the Editor:

Much to the total dismay of an entire neighborhood in Oak Grove, a landowner early one morning in 2005 brought in chain saws and clear cut more than 200 trees, tearing out 25 heron nests and one osprey nest in the process. People frantically called the county, and to their grief and horror, heard 'We're sorry, we are helpless. We have no tools to stop this!'

A small group of dedicated citizens calling themselves Clackamas County Urban Green will be presenting to the Board of County Commissioner next week this missing tool: a tree conservation ordinance for the unincorporated areas of the County within the Urban Growth Boundary. Based on guidelines originally recommended in late 2002 by an Environmental Work Group or task force emerging from the County's own 2001 Complete Communities, the proposed ordinance takes the best from tree ordinances all over the region and crafts one specifically designed for our unique area.

On Jan. 17, during the Citizen Comment portion at the end of the regular Board of County Commissioner's Thursday morning meeting (sometime after 10 a.m.) the Urban Green folks will present their recommendations to the Board. They will ask for several things:

1) A moratorium on all clear cutting without a permit within the unincorporated Urban Growth Boundary until the proposed ordinance is voted on by the board.

2) A citizen task force of up to 15 people who will design and shepherd a good public process to examine the ordinance and accompanying ZDO changes and come up with a formal recommendation to the Board for a vote sometime in the next six months.

If you would like more information, or to help out in this vital work, please go to our Web site at www.CCUrbanGreen.org. You can simply click there to offer your support. If you would like to join us on the 17th, please come up to the county's administration building at Kaen and Beavercreek Roads in Oregon City. Stand with us, for our trees, our wildlife and for the County's stated new direction towards sustainability. together, we can take this next step.

Susan Shawn

Urban Green

Climate change is real; let's tackle it together

To the Editor:

Perhaps global warming isn't caused by human activity. Maybe it's part of a larger natural climate cycle. But the fact of the matter is that global warming is a reality in our world and we do need to deal with its consequences. The only debate in the scientific community is about how much and how fast warming will continue. Fewer and fewer of us doubt the evidence, when we see the changes right in front of us. So called '100-year' weather events have become far more commonplace. Here at home, look at our destructive flood levels in 1996 and 2007 - a mere decade apart. In some parts of the U.S. increased heat and drought threaten drinking water supplies. In western states, the fire season has grown considerably longer because of higher temperatures and diminished snow peaks. Since the 1970s, there has been a 100 percent increase in the intensity and duration of hurricanes and tropical storms. In the Arctic, where warming is occurring at a rate two- to three-times faster than the global average, 400,000 square miles of sea ice has disappeared. And as more heat reflective ice and snow melt, creating more dark, heat-absorbing open water, a feedback loop accelerates the process.

So, when we look clear-eyed at global climate change, realistically, what should we do? Young Kendal Good's letter to the editor suggests that we not take action 'on something that might not even happen.' Personally, I believe we should embrace precautionary principal, and continue on the path to creating a more sustainable and natural culture. Regionally we've made great strides in land-use planning to preserve our farm and forest lands - our natural resources, our true wealth. We have in place a large and growing network of organic farms, distributors and markets. We're acting on the need to conserve energy in all facets of life. And we're creating alternatives to diminishing supplies of petroleum. In the future, whatever nature throws our way, we'll be able to weather it better if we continue to be as self-sufficient as possible.

But here and now, we need to get serious and pick up the pace of change. We're all in this together. Our lifestyle choices do make a difference. The more we cooperate to make the necessary changes, the easier it will be. And honestly, it's empowering to work together for the common good. So, let's move beyond this profit-driven, war-mongering, energy-guzzling rat race we're entrenched in. Let's co-create a saner, healthier, more natural culture together.

As they say in England, SLOW DOWN, GREEN UP.

Janine Offutt

Oregon City