We have a chance to save forestland | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

While we debate a few acres of forest visible on Bainbridge Island, we could be saving thousands of acres in Kitsap County that are poised to be sold and developed.

Trees are a hot topic on Bainbridge. In March, I attended a crowded city council meeting where the city council unanimously approved a Celebrate Trees! Resolution. Commentators noted that trees provide clean air, water, and soil, and living near green spaces improves human health.

In April, when three council members met with their Central Ward constituents, the theme of “trees” ran through the meeting, and many people were upset about the trees cut along 305 to make way for the Sound to Olympic Bike trail (“Trees start to fall, traffic starts to stall, as work on trail begins on Bainbridge,” Review, March 28).

Meanwhile, there is an amazing opportunity to conserve over 3,000 acres in Kitsap County. The Squamish Tribe, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, Kitsap County, and nonprofits such Forterra are working together and with state and federal funds to purchase thousands of acres of forest and shoreline around Port Gamble Bay for long-term conservation. At $2,500 per acre, funds must be raised by July 2017. (To donate, go to: www.savepg.org.) We are fast approaching the deadline and nearly 1,600 acres are still unprotected.

With so many Islanders looking to ensure that forest areas are not sold and developed, the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project offers a fantastic opportunity for tree conservation.

MONICA AUFRECHT

Bainbridge Island

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