Letters to the Editor

Trillium woods property won’t be developed | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

This letter is in response to Mr. Tapert’s Sept. 29 letter extolling the virtues of constructing a destination resort on the 660-acre Trillium forest property. This property was recently acquired by the Whidbey Camano Land Trust because of the generous contributions and efforts of hundreds of people who said that saving wildlife habitat, open space, and a place for people to be out in nature is a high priority. South Whidbey elementary school children donated money to the Trillium project because of our promise to maintain it as a safe and perpetual home for animal life.

To be very clear, this property will never be developed. It was saved to protect the very nature of Whidbey Island. The cleared hill that Mr. Tapert suggests for development is located north and outside of the protected forest. This land is for sale and available to Mr. Tapert, as a port of South Whidbey commissioner, to pursue his idea of a destination resort.

However, Mr. Tapert’s idea seems to us to be the very antithesis of “smart growth, placing development where infrastructure already exists. It is also the antithesis of supporting the wonderful visitor services already offered by the many small businesses on Whidbey, including lodging, restaurants and other tourist activities. In this economic downturn, they don’t need more competition. They do need our support.

Protection of the Trillium property adds economic benefits to Whidbey Island because of the natural services it provides, the tourism it will encourage, and because open space has been shown to provide solid economic benefit to communities. As important as economics are, most things in nature are priceless — a bird’s song, the rustle of wind through the forest, or a child standing silent and reverent while observing a chattering Douglas squirrel. As Henry David Thoreau said, “In wildness is the salvation of the world.”

For information on the Trillium project, go to www.savetheforestnow.org or www.wclt.org

Pat Powell

Executive Director

Tom Cahill

Board President

Whidbey Camano Land Trust

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