The recent wildfires are a reminder of how precious our environment is to humans, as well as to wildlife. Natural areas — even small ones in urban areas — contribute to our physical and mental health, to air and water quality, and to mitigating some of the effects of climate change (think how wonderful it is to walk through a wooded area on a hot day). Here in Lake Oswego, we are very fortunate to have a network of natural areas, and we should never take them for granted. It took the efforts of citizens, public employees and government leaders to set them aside for us and generations to come. There is a citizen’s initiative that is worthy of our support to ensure these are protected from inconsistent uses and development. This is Petition 2020IN-1. Signing the petition is not a vote for or against the initiative; but it’s an important step towards qualifying it for a vote. You can learn more about this initiative, and download, sign and mail the petition by going to https://www.loveloparks.org/petition.
Claire Puchy is a retired wildlife biologist whose career included positions as Executive Director of the Audubon Society of Portland and the Columbia River Gorge Commission. She was also an ecologist with the City of Portland, and Wildlife Diversity Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.