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Shame on planning board

Shame on the Ravalli County Planning Board (RCPB) for its recommendation of a conditional approval for the Legacy Ranch Subdivision on 4/18/13. The board approved it in spite of several public meetings where more than 150 local residents spoke in opposition to the subdivision. The RCPB should change their name to the Ravalli County Real Estate Approval Board.

The following are statements by board members as reported in the Ravalli Republic newspaper 4/20/13:

Mr. Ciliberti: “Any ground water concerns would be limited to less than 100 acres of the 2,800 acre refuge.” Any impact to the water quality of the refuge is a concern, and what hat did he pull his 100-acre statement from?

Board Chair Mr. Wisniewski, from Darby, made the audacious statement that “he had spent a few nights watching to see if any geese were landing on the proposed site in the evening. I didn’t see any geese there.” Perhaps he should have gone during the day, instead of night. Anyone traveling the Eastside Highway following the harvesting of the grain fields in September can view hundreds of ducks and approximately 200 geese feeding in the grain stubble on any given day. But, of course, this is during the day, not at night.

Mr. Menager said, “By removing the cattle grazing from the lands and adding a small area to the current wetland on the site,” he “thought wildlife might actually benefit from the proposal.”

As reported in the Ravalli Republic newspaper 4/21/13 by the refuge Wildlife Biological Tech: “In the 1970s it was common to have 6,000 to 8,000 birds here during migration. Now it’s closer to 3,000 to 5,000… In the 70s there were a lot more grain fields, now we have more homes.”

So Mr. Menager, by replacing the grain fields with 639 residential houses and two commercial sites, how does this proposal benefit wildlife?

Thank you, Board member Howard Eldredge, for having the foresight and courage to vote against this preposterous subdivision as presented.

Paul Hayes 

Stevensville

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