Fifty plus years ago, the Willapa Wildlife Refuge built about five miles of ditch, tidal gates and fish ladders to manage refuge property for “fresh water habitat.” 

Now, they want to reverse direction and manage the same land as an estuary. Along with this proposal are plans for a new refuge headquarters and shop building, because they are cramped for space, and evidently, people are objecting to having to walk by a shop building. A similiar project has just been completed at the Nasqually National Wildlife Refuge, which had a cost of $12 million. This is non-essential spending at a time when we are paying 40 cents of every dollar of revenue to service the national debt. 

In the same issue of the Chinook Observer, Jamie Herrera stated, “If Congress doesn’t stop the overspending, America will cease to be the land of opportunity we all know.” The next page is an article that tells that six educators are going to be losing their jobs. And the refuge needs a new headquarters because they’re cramped, and they want to make a “much more pleasant experience?” 

I am not opposed to habitat restoration, in fact I support it, but there has to be some sense as to what is affordable. These conditions at the refuge have existed for over 50 years. We as a country have got to stop spending money like we have a surplus. Alternative No. 1 is the only responsible alternative. 

Jim Deane 


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