As a prelude to construction this summer, a group of trees was just cut down, six months in advance of construction, in order to ensure Federally protected birds aren't nesting in them. There's also an interesting note in Salem Weekly about the possibility that the Minto Bridge will disturb the heron rookery.
But perhaps the more interesting bit in the piece is on the prospect of not having to drive and park.
|Worry about insufficient parking at the Carousel|
In the Weekly piece, one of the principals of "Pringle Square Access," the chief opponents to the apartments and State Street access, weighed on the Minto Bridge and its value to the community:
Salem ‘smart growth’ proponent Elaine Sanchez feels pets disruption will be minimal. She points out that Minto-Brown already has a leash law and the patrolling volunteers care very much that dogs are kept leashed.When some people argue, as they no doubt will, that the parking lot should be enlarged with some of the acreage of the park parcel, I hope that they will remember the way it was thought the "bridge will give people access to a beautiful trail system without having to drive to it." And I hope they will continue to give more thought to crossing the moat of Front Street, the Railroad, and the Liberty/Commercial couplet. Will they support the Downtown Mobility Study's recommendations for two-way traffic and enhanced bikeways, especially on State Street as the main entry to the park? When there's a choice between implementing the two-way system with bikeways or expanding auto capacity, will they support better use of existing capacity? A lot of advocacy right now is about saying "no" to things - but are there things to which we can say "yes"?
“People will always break the law,” Sanchez says, “but you can’t say that’s reason to stop such enormous benefits to the entire community.”
Sanchez’s husband Alex points to the reduction of carbon emissions, saying, “the bridge will give people access to a beautiful trail system without having to drive to it.”
(Hint, hint - and, interestingly, a footnote on the Council Goals is to "Develop a streetscape connection on Court and/or State Streets to Riverfront Park to enhance access and visibility between downtown and Riverfront Park.")
Back to Wildlife
As for the herons, I have seen herons in the vicinity of Clark Creek, not far from Fred Meyer and the large intersection of Madrona and Commercial.
|How disruptive really will the path be?|
It's certainly true that another set of large birds seem to be doing better these days - and doing so inside the city and rather urbanized parts at that.
|Red Tailed Hawk at 12th and State|
Also in the past two years I have seen bald eagles, not just along the river, but in the city. This fall I saw a pair gyring over the Blind School, Bush Park, and south over the lower field at South Salem High School and on towards Gilmore Field. Maybe expert birders and residents have seen eagles in the city even more often and over a longer period.
And there has been a resident family of sharp-shinned hawks near a very large institutional building, one that has large crowds of people, I have followed over the last few years as well.
It might be too much to say that big birds are doing well, but they certainly seem to be doing better, and they are adapting to the urban environment as they come back. The banishment of DDT has helped!
Instead of fretting over the herons, I suspect we would do well to turn those energies to fretting over invasives like ivy and knotweed, to driving less and walking more - and maybe most of all, to bees. Pollinators. We should probably be fretting a whole lot more about bees.
Update, early evening
In a comment, Jim reminds that over at N3B, they've been talking about a different bridge and heron rookery.
|McLane Island also has a heron rookery|
Update 2, Thursday the 27th
Criminy, I totally forgot I had a photo of a heron at Mirror Pond:
|A real heron admires the statue heron at Mirror Pond|