To the editor:
Our friends Janet Knox and Tom Fehsenfeld recently wrote a letter in support of the proposed final segment of the cross-island trail into the Gazzam Lake Nature Preserve. We agree that “the trail must be designed thoughtfully to conserve open space.” The conservation easement requires that “enhancement of the wildlife habitat and forest land Conservation Values shall take precedence over enhancement of the other Conservation Values (including recreation); thus, placement of trails in a way that leaves intact large undisturbed areas shall be preferred over a design that would result in smaller undisturbed areas.”
The proposed route will direct walkers and bicyclists through the largest undisturbed area of the preserve. The originally proposed route along Marshall Road would have no adverse impacts because it uses an existing entrance and the main trail into the preserve.
We applaud the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District for working to close unauthorized trails into the preserve. However, the new trail’s access point will create the same negative impacts on wildlife and forest ecology as the unauthorized trails.
We also agree that the preserve should be safely accessible to the community. All proposed routes extend along roads. There is no significant safety difference between the original and currently proposed routes.
The original route for the new trail complies with the conservation easement, produces far fewer negative impacts on the preserve and provides a route as safe as the current proposal.
Mike Hoffman, Lisa Macchio, Michael Bonoff