The Southwest Hills Neighborhood Association (SHINA) board voted 7-0 last month to oppose EWEB’s proposed reservoir project near 40th and Patterson.
Our city chartered neighborhood association of many thousands of households is not close to the forest site – we are not NIMBY’s. We do breathe cleaner cooler air because of the forest to our east. Large firs are on average 50% to 60% water. Monarch butterflies and pileated woodpeckers have been located at the site (both by EWEB and independent observers).
But local media including the KLCC news department refuses to report on the widespread opposition to this mature forest clear-cut based on continued depletion of the Eugene forest canopy. The city Climate Recovery Ordinance and Climate Action Plan CAP2.0 calls for preservation and increase in mature forest canopy. It also notes Eugene has each year instead been losing more and more forest.
250 trees were cut Monday, August 2. The biggest firs are still standing today because of a state Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) stay against EWEB’s chain saws. EWEB has several other viable sites to build storage capacity. EWEB could also adopt the original plan to build one 7.5 million gallon reservoir rather than two, then rebuild the college hill site when the new tank comes online.
Blasting and explosive permits (which EWEB has yet to apply for) will, EWEB estimates, remove 15,000 dump truck loads of basalt from the site bedrock. This further demolition to the site may kill much of the remaining trees and wildlife.