Sunday, October 16, 2011

tackling urban myths, continued

Another day, another rebuttal to less-than-illuminating comments regarding the recent Leader article  about the NPS ruling protecting Kah Tai.

To the authoritative-sounding comments from the park 'historian': The Kah Tai Alliance is an entity of varying composition that has coalesced and dissolved several times in the last 30+ years. It arose in the 1970s from efforts to save what remained of Kah Tai Lagoon from development. Kah Tai became PT's first Adopt-A-Park in late 2001 and the adoption was by the Kah Tai Alliance. The iteration of the KTA in 2001 included Admiralty Audubon, Jefferson Land Trust, Friends of Kah Tai, People for a Livable Community and Port Townsend High School Environmental Club.

Note that Friends of Kah Tai and Audubon are both named explicitly in the 1981 LWCF park grant narrative and Admiralty Audubon and Kah Tai Alliance are named explicitly in the US Fish and Wildlife publication: Important Fish and Wildlife Habitats of Washington ( (Important fish and wildlife habitat of Washington: an inventory (1978). US Fish and Wildlife Service 85 pp.).  The Alliance may be silent at the moment, but the organizations that fostered the most recent iteration are mostly alive and quite well, thank you.

If the Port had cancelled the lease early as suggested by the same commenter, they would have lost control over the City ROWs in the boat haven early as well, an issue yet to be resolved. If the Port had cancelled the lease early, the LWCF rules would still be in place and they would have to manage the land as a park. However, there are RCWs which suggest that ports cannot as a rule legally manage parks - more on that soon.

The City offered to plant approx. 450 tree seedlings (Douglas Fir, Shore Pine, Willow spp., Cottonwood and Western Red Cedar, not a single exotic on the list) in 2001-2002 but the Port threatened legal action against them to stop the effort. So while the Port insists that the City maintain the park it refuses to let them do so. The Port administration claims that they knew nothing about any plans to develop the park and that permission is required for any effort, even though back in 1982, members of the Parks Board gave the Port Commission a detailed briefing on the plans for park development and the Commissioners passed the plan as presented, unanimously (more on this soon as well). This information is available in the Port minutes.

And then there's the comment from a former port commissioner who was in office in 2003 when the Port prepared its 20-year Comprehensive Scheme ( that chose Alternative 2 for Kah Tai - No Development, with an EIS that declared that any development would be harmful ( There doesn't seem to be any evidence in the Scheme that any commissioner produced a minority opinion against that finding. Why now does he suggest we fill in the lagoon?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this careful and concise accounting o f
    the process and evolution of the irreplaceable
    nature park.