[Tweeters] Wenas Campground Road Work

Scott Downes downess at charter.net
Mon May 13 19:07:39 PDT 2019

Felt compelled to make some remarks about the various posts going around for the road work at the Wenas Campout. I work fairly regularly with SE Region DNR staff in my position as a habitat biologist for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. I have chatted with them on this project, though admittedly have not had time to run up and check things out myself (only seen some photos of the work). The primary objectives for this project was 1. to reduce road sediment and driving access (habitat damage) to the creek and 2. to improve the road surface so that it was a nice road to drive on. As I haven’t seen the project, I don’t know if they were successful in the objectives, but the work was done to improve conditions for Wenas Creek (reduce sediment runoff and eliminate vehicles in areas so that plants can reestablish). I know it is very nice to camp next to a creek, but I would hope that as birders, Audubon is also a conservation group. Without being hypocritical, we can’t complain when a motorized group drives off-road and does habitat destruction and then be upset at DNR when they are trying to reduce impacts to the riparian area. It sounds like from talking with folks, they made some areas where people can still access the creek with vehicles. While this is nice and accommodating of DNR, note that if you are car camping within the riparian area you are likely having impacts to the riparian habitat (plant destruction, soil compaction etc..). I would encourage people to think of the habitat first and people’s comfort second. People can move, most bird species cannot.

Off my soapbox now.

Scott Downes
downess at charter.net
Yakima WA
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