Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The more things change, the more they stay the same

In 1978, the US Fish and Wildlife Service evaluated forty threatened habitats in the State of Washington. Kah Tai Lagoon ranked as the tenth most threatened. Note in the table (click to enlarge) that Kah Tai (still at 100 acres, before land was lost to pending commercial development) is 3.5 times smaller than the next smallest habitat ranked above it, and usually hundreds of times smaller than locations ranked above it. Kah Tai's species value ranking is very high for such a small habitat and its threat level is also very elevated. Kah Tai was ranked with high education and recreation values and low development and management costs.

The report section on Kah Tai concludes: "The Kah Tai Lagoon is a controversial local issue. Despite designation as a park and open space, the area is still receiving pressure for development. Management scenarios are basically nonconsumptive and include interpretation, education, wildlife observation, and scientific study" (p.58).

The full report is in the public domain, available at more than 100 US university libraries. It is available to read online, courtesy of Hathi Digital Trust, at http://hdl.handle.net/2027/umn.31951002875369y (Important fish and wildlife habitat of Washington: an inventory (1978). US Fish and Wildlife Service 85 pp.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

'What Is A Park?"; IAC Vision for Kah Tai

Robert Wilder was the Director of the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation (IAC) for Washington State throughout the process that led to the creation of Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park. His signature is found on virtually every relevant document. After the groundbreaking ceremony for the Park to be developed on the land south of the lagoon, Director Wilder sent a letter, dated 20 August 1985, to Port Townsend Park Superintendent Kevin Burke, along with his congratulations to the City leaders, the Park Board and citizens "for their vision and dedication...the Kah Tai Lagoon Park is unique and has an opportunity to be a wonderful community asset...a park that the citizens of Port Townsend will be able to look upon with great pride." With that letter he included the poem reprinted here (click on poem to enlarge).