Letter to the Editor published in South King Media Blogs

This page is offered to provide a Spanish language version of the letter and links to the documents referred to in the letter. Scroll down below the text of the letter to see the numbered end notes. The letter was published on May 24, 2022 in the B-Town Blog, SeaTac Blog, and Waterland Blog by South King Media.

Esta página se ofrece para proporcionar una versión en español de la carta y enlaces a los documentos a los que se hace referencia en la carta. Desplácese hacia abajo debajo del texto de la carta para ver las notas finales numeradas. La carta fue publicada el 24 de mayo de 2022 en el B-Town Blog, SeaTac Blog, y Waterland Blog publicados por South King Media.

Dear Editor,

The Port of Seattle proposes to commercially develop an estimated 107 acres of mostly tree-covered land near SeaTac Airport. Thirty-one of these acres are inside North SeaTac Park on land now covered by mature forest interwoven with mountain bike, running, and walking trails used by community members throughout the area. (1)

We ask readers to join us in signing the Community Forest Consensus to demand that Port Commissioners withdraw these expansion plans and replace them with a comprehensive plan to properly manage and restore ecosystems in their jurisdiction. (2)

The Port’s deforestation proposals would take us in the opposite direction of a recent health department recommendation: to reduce human exposure to deadly airport pollution by expanding tree canopy and green space within 10 miles of SeaTac Airport. (3)

It’s especially unjust to site these proposals in SeaTac, where one of the most racially and economically diverse communities in the county bears among the highest impacts from environmental health disparities (4) and has among the lowest percentage of tree canopy. (5)

Trees are critical public health infrastructure. In addition to protecting us from pollution, they reduce the heat, dust, flooding, and drought of climate change while shading waterways that shelter salmon and provide habitat for wildlife. Research shows that trees are associated with improved mental health, lower crime rates and longer lives. They increase property values, reduce heating and cooling costs, and are good for retail business. (6-9)

As Defenders of North SeaTac Park, we are calling upon the Port to drop their unjust proposals, uphold environmental justice, and honor their commitments to the community:

  • Their commitment as a member of the King County–Cities Climate Collaboration to reduce sprawl and protect forests. (10)

  • The commitment in the Port’s own vision and equity statement to advance racial equity and share “information and decision-making power with the people who are impacted by (its) work.” (11)

  • The historical legacy of North SeaTac Park, which the Port created to compensate local residents for cumulative airport impacts. (12)

Please join the Defenders and nearly 1,600 other community members, including elected officials, organizations, and businesses in signing our local Community Forest Consensus which calls for:

  1. Permanent protection of North SeaTac Park;

  2. A moratorium, with exceptions only for health and safety, on further deforestation by the Port of Seattle on public lands within two miles of the airport;

  3. A plan for Comprehensive Action to Restore the Ecology (CARE Plan) of North SeaTac Park.

Elected officials have begun to take action. The City of SeaTac is exploring whether it can acquire all or part of the park in order to protect it, and discussions on this question are ongoing between SeaTac and Port officials. (13,14) Burien’s City Council has put the issue of the park on its future agendas. (15)

These are promising developments. But they don’t address the proposed destruction of dozens of acres of trees outside the park. And they require strong and continuing public input, including your signature on the Consensus, to bring them to life.

By signing the Consensus, we together envision a future with a protected and restored North SeaTac Park, along with its interconnected forest in the surrounding community. We envision a future in which all residents enjoy healthy, sheltering trees in neighborhoods surrounded by mature forest cover. Our signatures signify that all of us, especially our children, deserve clean air and the chance to learn, play, and grow in a quality physical environment.

Find the Consensus here and sign today!

In community,

Defenders of North SeaTac Park

Querido Editor,

El Puerto de Seattle propone desarrollar comercialmente un estimado de 107 acres de tierra en su mayoría cubierta de árboles cerca del Aeropuerto SeaTac. Treinta y uno de estos acres están dentro del parque North SeaTac en un terreno que ahora está cubierto por un bosque maduro entretejido con senderos para bicicletas de montaña, para correr y para caminar utilizados por los miembros de la comunidad en toda el área. (1)

Pedimos a los lectores que se unan a nosotros para firmar el Consenso de Bosques Comunitarios para exigir que los Comisionados Portuarios retiren estos planes de expansión y los reemplacen con un plan integral para administrar y restaurar adecuadamente los ecosistemas en su jurisdicción. (2)

Las propuestas de deforestación del Puerto nos llevarían en la dirección opuesta a una recomendación reciente del departamento de salud: reducir la exposición humana a la contaminación mortal del aeropuerto mediante la expansión de la copa de los árboles y los espacios verdes dentro de las 10 millas del aeropuerto SeaTac. (3)

Las propuestas son especialmente injustas porque están ubicadas en SeaTac, donde una de las comunidades con mayor diversidad racial y económica del condado sufre uno de los mayores impactos por las disparidades en la salud ambiental (4) y tiene uno de los porcentajes más bajos de copa de los árboles. (5)

Los árboles son una infraestructura crítica de salud pública. Además de protegernos de la contaminación, reducen el calor, el polvo, las inundaciones y la sequía del cambio climático al tiempo que dan sombra a las vías fluviales que albergan salmones y proporcionan un hábitat para la vida silvestre. Las investigaciones muestran que los árboles están asociados con una mejor salud mental, menores tasas de criminalidad y vidas más largas. Aumentan el valor de las propiedades, reducen los costos de calefacción y refrigeración y son buenos para los negocios minoristas. (6-9)

Como defensores del parque North SeaTac, hacemos un llamado al puerto para que abandone sus propuestas injustas, defienda la justicia ambiental y cumpla sus compromisos con la comunidad:

  • Su compromiso como miembro de King County-Cities Climate Collaboration para reducir la expansión y proteger los bosques. (10)

  • El compromiso en la propia visión y declaración de equidad del Puerto para promover la equidad racial y compartir "información y poder de toma de decisiones con las personas que se ven afectadas por (su) trabajo". (11)

  • El legado histórico del North SeaTac Park que creó el Puerto para compensar a los residentes locales por los impactos acumulativos del aeropuerto, y no para la futura expansión del aeropuerto. (12)

Únase a los Defensores y a casi 1,600 miembros, organizaciones y empresas de la comunidad para firmar nuestro Consenso de Bosques Comunitarios local que exige:

  1. Protección permanente del Parque North SeaTac;

  2. Una moratoria, con excepciones solo para la salud y la seguridad, sobre una mayor deforestación por parte del Puerto de Seattle en terrenos públicos dentro de dos millas del aeropuerto.;

  3. Un plan de Acción Integral para Restaurar la Ecología (Plan CARE) del Parque North SeaTac.

Los funcionarios electos han comenzado a tomar medidas. La ciudad de SeaTac está explorando si puede adquirir todo o parte del parque para protegerlo, y las conversaciones sobre esto están en curso entre SeaTac y los funcionarios del puerto. (13,14) El Ayuntamiento de Burien ha puesto el tema del parque en sus futuras agendas. (15) Estos son desarrollos prometedores. Pero aún no abordan la destrucción propuesta de docenas de acres de árboles fuera del parque. Y requieren aportes públicos fuertes y continuos, incluida su firma en el Consenso, para darles vida.

Al firmar el Consenso, visualizamos un futuro con un Parque North SeaTac protegido y restaurado, junto con su bosque interconectado en la comunidad circundante. Visualizamos un futuro en el que todos los residentes disfruten de árboles saludables y protectores en vecindarios rodeados de una cubierta forestal madura. Nuestras firmas significan que todos, especialmente nuestros niños, merecemos aire limpio y la oportunidad de aprender, jugar y crecer en un entorno físico de calidad.

¡Encuentre el Consenso aquí y fírmelo hoy!

In community,

Defenders of North SeaTac Park

End Notes

  1. What Trees are at Risk? Defenders of North SeaTac Park website https://KCTreeEquity.org/trees

  2. Defenders of North SeaTac Park Community Forest Consensus https://KCTreeEquity.org

  3. Community Health and Airport Operations Related Noise and Air Pollution: Report to the Legislature by Seattle-King County Department of Health in Response to Washington State HOUSE BILL 1109, December 1, 2020 https://tinyurl.com/mwk9p7vn

  4. Washington State Department of Health Environmental Health Disparities Map https://doh.wa.gov/data-statistical-reports/washington-tracking-network-wtn/washington-environmental-health-disparities-map

  5. King County 30-Year Forest Plan, Feb., 2021, p 17. https://your.kingcounty.gov/dnrp/library/water-and-land/forestry/30-year-forest-plan/30-year-forest-plan-03-2021.pdf

  6. Wolf KL, Lam ST, McKeen JK, Richardson GRA, van den Bosch M, Bardekjian AC. Urban Trees and Human Health: A Scoping Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 18;17(12):4371. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17124371. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32570770/

  7. Shepley M, Sachs N, Sadatsafavi H, Fournier C, Peditto K. The Impact of Green Space on Violent Crime in Urban Environments: An Evidence Synthesis. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Dec 14;16(24):5119. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31847399/

  8. Business District Streetscapes, Trees, and Consumer Response Kathleen L. Wolf. Journal of Forestry, V 103 (8) December 2005 p. 396 https://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/journals/pnw_2005_wolf001.pdf

  9. Final Report: The Economic Footprint and Quality-of-Life Benefits of Urban Forestry in the United States, Dr. Eric Thompson et al., Bureau of Business Research, University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 6/28/2021 https://www.arborday.org/urban-forestry-economic/downloads/complete-report-findings.pdf

  10. King County – Cities Climate Collaboration Joint Letter of Commitment: Climate Change Actions in King County, 2019, p. 7. https://your.kingcounty.gov/dnrp/library/dnrp-directors-office/climate/joint-commitments-update-with-signatures-final.pdf

  11. The Port of Seattle Equity Statement and Vision, 7/8/2020 https://tinyurl.com/ypnyftts

  12. Federal Avaiation Administration Compliance Reviews of Airport Noise Land Use & Financial Operations 2016 p. 11. https://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_compliance/compliance_reviews/

    “(T)he Park is the culmination of a long term and very open planning process to compensate the area’s residents for cumulative airport impacts.”

  13. Port of Seattle: Port of Seattle Plans to Study North SeaTac Park, 9/21/21 https://www.portseattle.org/news/port-seattle-plans-study-north-seatac-park

  14. City of SeaTac Blog: City Council approves resolution to allow SeaTac to explore acquiring North SeaTac Park, May 11, 2022 https://cityofseatac.wordpress.com/2022/05/11/city-council-approves-resolution-to-allow-seatac-to-explore-acquiring-north-seatac-park/

  15. At the April 18, 2022 Regular Council Meeting of the CIty of Burien, Councilmember Cydney Moore introduced a motion to include North SeaTac Park as an upcoming agenda item. The motion passed. Motion and vote can be viewed at 3:02:00 here: https://burien.vod.castus.tv/vod/?video=266a5feb-a58b-4679-85f9-4505ab9f99c4&view=7

info@KCTreeEquity.org

© 2024

Facebook icon
Instagram icon
Intuit Mailchimp logo