By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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Eight trees in all will be taken down. Seven lie within the city-owned park, with the other on port property.
The trees are being removed as an emergency measure to restore full use of William R. Fairchild International Airport to the west.
It is a separate project from a proposal to remove all Lincoln Park trees that obstruct the runway.
The Federal Aviation Administration has declared that the eight trees are in the flight path for nighttime or bad-weather GPS landings and has restricted night landings on runway 26, the airport’s main east-west runway.
Jerry Ludke, the port’s airport and marinas manager, said the FAA has assured him the restrictions would be lifted within 24 hours of confirmation that the trees have been removed.
Six of the Lincoln Park trees are in the westernmost portion of the park near the off-leash dog park, while the seventh lies to the north near the city-owned baseball fields, according to a map provided by the Port of Port Angeles.
The port tree that will be removed is near the Clallam County Juvenile Detention Facility along 18th Street, Ludke said.
The port inked a $19,512 contract with Port Angeles-based Blue Mountain Tree Service to complete the work, which involving removing each tree and grinding the remaining stump down to ground level, Ludke explained.
The trees are Douglas and white firs and stand “in the neighborhood of 100 feet” tall, he said, adding that an age estimate was not available.
An appraisal by Hendrickson Forestry valued the trees at $1,786 total, Ludke said, which the port will pay to the city.
Corey Delikat, the city’s parks and recreation director, said the money will be put into the city’s Lincoln Park improvement fund.
Delikat said all of Lincoln Park, including the dog park, disc golf course and ball fields, will be closed to ensure the trees can be removed safely and efficiently.
“We’ll just block everything up [tonight],” Delikat said. “We’ll make sure we’ll barricade all the main entrances that we can.”
At a joint meeting in June between the City Council and port commissioners, council members voted 5-1 to allow the seven city-owned trees to be cut.
Concerning the larger proposal to cut all Lincoln Park trees that limit airport use, Ludke said the port expects to put out a call for bids in the fall for a consultant to do an environmental assessment.
“Then sometime in 2015, we would get started on the environmental assessment, which would take 18 months to complete,” Ludke said.
At the June meeting, council members voted 4-2 to sign a memorandum of agreement for the FAA to conduct an environmental assessment of the park. The city has not approved cutting trees for the larger project.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.