Capital LTE: “Development at Crystal Spring poses threat to birds, other wildlife”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, March 11, 2017

The column by John Frece on the development of Crystal Spring (“New Crystal Spring plan unacceptable,” The Capital, March 8) was one of the most compelling arguments I have seen regarding the environmental problems raised by the developer’s plans.

The traffic congestion, pollutant loading and quality-of-life issues raised are reasons enough to abandon this development, but I would like to add another reason: the erasure of wildlife, especially birds.

The 82 acres of forest at Crystal Spring are part of the city’s largest block of remaining mature contiguous forest and are afforded protection under the law as Priority Forest. The forest, composed of trees that are 80 to 100 years old, is critical for many bird species for successful breeding, feeding and escape from predators, and serves as a suburban oasis for 220 species of birds known to inhabit the site at some time of the year.

Some of these species are officially listed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s congressionally mandated Species of Management Concern List, meaning they could be added to the endangered species list.

Consequently, the proposed felling of any part of this forest will have a catastrophic impact on birds and wildlife in general. Let us therefore preserve this remaining vestige of natural forest in our midst and avoid the danger yet again of holding a mirror up to nature and seeing nothing but ourselves.


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