[Tweeters] King County rarities (not)

mcallisters4 at comcast.net mcallisters4 at comcast.net
Sat May 15 18:17:03 PDT 2021

During the debate about wetland "restoration" and mitigation credits for the work at the Montlake Fill I weighed in agreeing with Dennis and the idea that the "highest and best" habitat value for this location was early successional wetland habitat that would be more likely to attract and provide basic support for species that have a difficult time finding suitable habitat elsewhere, like shorebirds. The primary wetland regulators in Washington, the Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, establish how much credit given for creating different kinds of wetland conditions. A typical late successional type with a strong willow or shrub component gets the most credits, I believe.

It would cost less to forego the planting of willows, Spiraea, and other woody plants, and, perhaps, the compensation could be a commitment to periodically set back succession to maintain open muddy shorelines and shallows.

Kelly McAllister
Formerly WSDOT, Olympia

-----Original Message-----
From: Tweeters <tweeters-bounces at mailman11.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Dennis Paulson
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2021 6:03 PM
To: pan <panmail at mailfence.com>
Cc: TWEETERS tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] King County rarities (not)

Alan, you made a good point here in your last sentence. I don’t know why people plant willows around wetlands like this, thereby fairly quickly destroying their value as shorebird habitat. It’s been done at Montlake Fill, it’s been done at Magnuson Park, and I know it’s been done at other constructed wetlands. Willows and cottonwoods come in soon enough on their own, and my recommendation has always been to actively manage for shorebirds—clear out the woody vegetation that invariably becomes established at such places and not only ruins it for shorebirds and some other wetland species but even eliminates the views that birders cherished before the trees blocked them.

We have lots of trees in this area but not lots of open meadows and wetlands. What is not liked about the latter scarce habitats?

I don’t know why the various agencies have this bias, and it would be good to bring out in the open and discuss in the environmental community. There seems to be no trace of an environmental master plan for the region.

Dennis Paulson

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