Thursday, March 24, 2011

Illegal Conversions of LWCF Parks

If you care about protecting Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park from the current attempt by the Port to have the fill land, included in the Park in 1981, now removed from any protections, this article is well worth reading. Our State Recreation and Conservation Office has been careless with oversight in the past and illegal conversions are numerous in the region. Citizens must pay attention to this issue to safeguard this remaining natural habitat in our urban environment. Follow the URL at the bottom of this post and you will be able to download a pdf of this important article.

[82WashLRev0737] Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing: Enforcing Land Use Restrictions on Land and Water Conservation Fund Parks
Title: [82WashLRev0737] Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing: Enforcing Land Use Restrictions on Land and Water Conservation Fund Parks
Author: Gelardi, Michael J.; Washington Law Review
Abstract: Abstract: Congress created the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in 1965 to provide resources for states and federal agencies to acquire and develop land for public outdoor recreation. Over the past forty years, the LWCF has quietly become one of the most successful conservation programs in United States history. The federal government and states have used the LWCF to preserve unique landscapes for their natural beauty, scientific value, and wildlife habitat, as well as to encourage traditional recreational pursuits. The LWCF Act prohibits the conversion of LWCF-funded state and local parks to uses other than public outdoor recreation unless approved by the National Park Service under strict conditions. Nevertheless, state and local LWCF grantees have illegally converted numerous LWCF parks. As pressure grows on state and local governments to develop parkland for nonrecreational uses, illegal LWCF park conversions threaten unique landscapes and the integrity of the LWCF program. This Comment argues that federal common law and statutory rights in LWCF-funded lands enable the United States to seek an array of coercive remedies to prevent, remedy, and deter illegal conversions of LWCF parks.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1773.1/211
Date: 2007-08

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park Plan, July 1982

Here is the architectural plan view in color from Illahee Associates (click on the map to enlarge it). It represents the vision and intent of the full and realized Park as a part of the planning for the development grant in 1983. Although it's hard to see on the right hand margin in this version, a less beautiful version of the same map shows the start date for this rendering as 28 July 1982. For people who are keeping track, notice that July 1982 is BEFORE the Port signed the lease with the City on 4 August 1982 for 20+ acres between Sims and the lagoon. So, in July 1982, with no leases in place for the southern portion of the Park, both sponsors of the 1981 acquisition grant understood that the development grant would - develop (!) the southern portion as a nature park - with a small lagoon, trails, plantings of native flora, a play meadow, restrooms, picnic shelter. Citizens committed $145,000 (in 1983 dollars) as in-kind match for this grant, in skilled labor and materials to develop the vision of the Park.

This was not a vision for a temporary park. This was effort dedicated to a park that had been promised to the citizens of Port Townsend in perpetuity. 'Perpetuity' is longer than 30 years. Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park should outlast all of us working now to complete the protections that were overlooked by NPS in 1985 when the acquisition grant closed. Protecting Kah Tai is our commitment to those whose vision created it, and it is our gift to the generations that follow.