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.)

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