The fate of a natural preserve in southcentral Washington still hangs in the balance. That’s because the City of Richland has plans to build a road through the Amon Creek Wildlands. But community outcry and hours of public testimony might be forcing a change of heart.
Amon Creek Preserve is a small parcel of diverse, wildlife-rich habitat amid urban development. It has reedy beaver ponds, a creek and desert sagebrush all in one spot.
Scott Woodward is the head of a Tri-Cities nonprofit aimed at protecting this preserve.
“Jackrabbits hang out next to river otters,” said Woodward. “There’s no other place like that period.”
But the city is planning a road that will cut right through the wetlands. And that controversial plan has fired up the community from retirees to schoolchildren. Hundreds have shown up at recent city meetings to speak out against the road. Now, the city officials are calling for a study of the planned road that would include the public’s voice.
Woodward is hopeful another route might be chosen, but he said, “Reality wise, when you look at the map, that would be really hard.”
Richland will decide whether to go forward with a study on the planned road in the first part of June.
Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network