Q&A with a local reporter on the proposed Arlie acquisti

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Q&A with a local reporter on the proposed Arlie acquisti

Postby Kevin » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:29 pm

From: "Local Reporter"
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2008 15:41:08 -0700 (PDT)
To: Kevin Matthews <matthews@artifice.com>
Subject: Re: Ridgeline Trail acquisition [Arlie corridor]

Thanks for the additional thoughts, Kevin.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kevin Matthews" <matthews@artifice.com>
To: Local Reporter
Sent: Monday, April 7, 2008 3:36:41 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Re: Ridgeline Trail acquisition [Arlie corridor]

Thanks for the clarification.  Actually, I think the City really does have enough funds for both the Arlie &  Co. corridor and the Green/Beverly properties - especially if it fully optimizes outside grant opportunites for both.

If the City goes ahead and pays for either acquisition straight out, using only City funds, then it might have to tap into general fund or other accounts to complete the other.  That's certainly feasible, given the political will.  

But in the interests of getting the best possible value for citizens of Eugene, and given that we're talking about sharing some of the same pots, I think the proposed Arlie &  Co. corridor acquisition should get a similar level of funding creativity to what is being given, for similar cost levels, for either the Beverly or Green acquisition.  That means exploring all reasonable grant opportunities and various city accounts that might be applicable, while balancing appropriate priorities for each.

Others, not I, may assert that there aren't enough funds to accomplish both saving the Amazon Headwaters, and preparing for a future corridor to Mount Pisgah.  The thoughts below about prioritization are applicable to that perspective.

best wishes,

Kevin



On Mon, 7 Apr 2008 15:08:33 -0700 (PDT), "Local Reporter" wrote:
> Thanks, Kevin.
> You did not say specifically, but I'm assuming from your answer that
> you don't believe the city has enough money to acquire both Arlie &
> Co. corridor and the Green/Beverly properties.
> Is that correct?
> "Reporter"
>
>  
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kevin Matthews" <matthews@artifice.com>
> To: Local Reporter
> Sent: Monday, April 7, 2008 3:00:49 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
> Subject: Re: Ridgeline Trail acquisition
>
> Hello "Reporter",
>
>
> On Mon, 7 Apr 2008 13:54:14 -0700 (PDT), "Local Reporter" wrote:
>> Hello, Kevin.
>>
>> I'm working on an article about the city's interest in buying 200
>> acres from Arlie & Co. to extend the Ridgeline Trail to LCC.
>>
>> I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the acquisition.
>>
>> Do you think it's a good idea?
>>
>> If so, why so?
>>
>> If not, why not?
>
>
> In general, it is valuable to be thinking long-term about future park
> and open space needs.  And in the abstract, I think it is a great
> long-term idea to create and protect a new natural corridor that
> would connect the Eugene ridgeline over to the Pisgah area.  To
> comment on the specific site in play here, I'd much prefer to see
> some biological work-up of the natural resource values of the site,
> which I'm not aware has been made public at this point.  
>
> From a practical perspective, however, I'm concerned that the City of
> Eugene doesn't really have effective mechanisms in place to balance
> priorities between a well-documented, highly biologically important,
> urgently threatened, but relatively expensive property inside the
> City and its UGB, versus a less-well-documented property outside the
> UGB, which is at least theoretically protected from intensive
> development at present, and largely for that reason, is much less
> expensive per acre.
>
> From a personal, Southeast Neighbors, and Friends of Eugene
> perspective, it generally seems not prudent to pass over
> highly-threatened, specifically irreplacable natural resource areas
> to protect other much-less-threatened ones, even if they seem to be
> available at bargain prices.  
>
> Protecting the most threatened first, as long as they are savable, is
> a well-established principle of triage, which seems very applicable
> to our local upland habitats, as decimated as they have been by the
> last decade of accelerated development.
>
> In this specific case, given that the would-be seller is a major
> backer of Mayor Piercy's opponent, one would be naive not to wonder
> about electoral politics in the timing of such a large
> outside-the-UGB acquisition offer.
>
> The highest current priority for the City, for a whole host of
> well-documented reasons, must be protecting the remaining,
> highly-threated Amazon Headwaters properties, which are essential to
> the health and safety of Eugene's own primary watershed, as well as
> its residents.
>
> If we can do it all, that would be great, and future generations
> would thank us, much as we thank the park protectors who preceeded
> us.  
>
> But if we have to pick and choose, I can't see putting future
> possibilities over immediate necessities.  
>
>
>> My deadline is  3 p.m. Tuesday.
>>
>> And are you still chairman of the Southeast Neighbors and president
> of FOE?
>
>
> Yes.  BTW, we like to style it FoE...  :-)
>
>
>> Thanks a lot.
>> "Reporter"
>
>
> Thanks for asking!
>
> best wishes,
>
> Kevin
>
>
>
> --
> Can you join with Friends of Eugene to help save our city's creeks
> and ridges and rivers, for birds and fish and trees and otters and
> people, too?  For affordable housing and urban place and green space
> and greater health and happiness?
>
> This special part of Oregon needs all our hope, help, and love
> together to create real solutions to West Eugene transportation
> concerns, to reach toward social and political and environmental
> equity, to support all the efforts for a safe, fun, sustainable,
> livable Eugene!
>
> Please help, join, and contribute online:
>    http://www.FriendsofEugene.org
>
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Kevin
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