Port, city of Port Angeles eye Lincoln Park tree removal

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The Port of Port Angeles and city will talk about cutting eight trees in Lincoln Park next week.

They also are considering the larger issue of the future of the forested park.

On Tuesday, the commissioners discussed their upcoming meeting with the City Council at 10 a.m. Monday in council chambers at City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St., regarding the removal of eight city-owned trees at the 147-acre Lincoln Park.

Removal would ease Federal Aviation Administration landing restrictions at the port’s nearby William R. Fairchild International Airport, port officials have said.

The proposal to be considered by the council would allow the removal of seven trees standing in the western portion of the city-owned Lincoln Park, just west of the off-leash dog park. An eighth stands in city property north of the Lincoln Park ball fields.

The Park, Recreation and Beautification Commission has recommended that the council approve the plan.

Memorandum of agreement

Council members and port commissioners also are expected to develop a memorandum of agreement on how to address the larger issue of hundreds of Lincoln Park trees limiting Fairchild runway use.

Removal of the Lincoln Park trees, which have grown into the sight-line for the airport’s main runway, has been a contentious issue.

The port spent $145,513 to create the Lincoln Park Master Plan to redevelop the property after trees are cut, but many neighbors and city residents who use the park have opposed the plan.

The council adopted the plan in July 2013 but said the port is responsible for funding and that no trees would be cut down without additional council approval.

The first phase of the master plan includes $6.7 million in tree removal and the replanting of shorter tree species with $14.2 million for developing new trails and rebuilding the clubhouse and restrooms, playgrounds, new parking areas and improved lighting.

The first phase also includes some degree of tree removal and replanting, which is estimated to cost $6.7 million.

The exact number and location of trees proposed to be cut for the plan has not been released.

Opposed to cutting

Two city residents who have led the opposition to cutting any trees spoke before the port commission Tuesday.

“We will put our bodies in front of our trees,” said Devon Graywolf, a leader of Save the Trees.

Graywolf told the commission that she now has 2,500 signatures on a petition to prevent the tree cutting.

She told port commissioners they have another option: to extend the runway to the west.

“I will go out and build your runway for you,” she said.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 27. 2014 5:22PM
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