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University of Portland's plan would bisect Willamette Bluff

By Barbara Quinn
The Oregonian

As part of the North Reach River Plan, the University of Portland has disclosed a campus master plan that includes a massive parking structure built into the Willamette Bluff and bisecting it from top to bottom. University representatives are currently negotiating privately with city leaders about the removal of protective environmental zoning in that location and about the degree of public engagement -- which is very strange, considering the North Reach plan is a public process.



As part of the North Reach River Plan, the University of Portland has disclosed a campus master plan that includes a massive parking structure built into the Willamette Bluff and bisecting it from top to bottom. University representatives are currently negotiating privately with city leaders about the removal of protective environmental zoning in that location and about the degree of public engagement -- which is very strange, considering the North Reach plan is a public process.

e of the North Reach goals is to restore the health of the Willamette watershed in its northernmost 11 miles over the next 30 to 35 years, including upland connectivity. The bluff system represents the most intact north-to-south corridor in east Portland, according to Bob Sallinger of the Audubon Society of Portland. The largest challenge to protecting native plants and animals in the city is lack of connectivity and migratory corridors. The Baltimore Woods make up the northern end of the bluff corridor, and all the work done to increase connectivity there would be undermined by a massive impediment at the university. The Willamette Bluff system is just that -- a system. What affects connectivity in one area affects it in another. Blockage is not the direction we should go to create a functional wildlife corridor for the coming years, especially when we are already seeing a decline in land animals.
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