[Tweeters] Everett-to Marysville flood plain inundation

Scott Atkinson scottratkinson at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 19 09:33:09 PDT 2007


As on Fir Island, the dike-breaching effort is about to make its impact felt
in a greater way southward--in Snohomish County. The dike-breachers are
about to inundate the heart of the Everett-Marysville CBC circle soon. Word
has it that the Harnden Tree Farm (visible on right of I-5 heading
northbound, opposite the boats of Dagmar's Landing) and the Biringer Farm
(also visible on right northbound on I-5 as you near the first Marysville
exit) have both thrown in the towel under pressure, selling their
properties; just east, at the dead end of 12th Street SE (this is the
overpass right over I-5 from Dagmar's Landing just north of the Everett
STP), the property here (immediately northeast of the Everett STP) of and
along Union Slough is to be flooded.

This is a real blow for a number of birds and other wildlife here.
Admittedly, the habitats are highly altered, heavy with non-native vascular
flora, but the wildlife in the area is unmistakable. This last CBC again
showed this is the best area for wintering sparrows in the count circle (8
species, including 4 Swamp, 1 Harris', 35 Lincoln's and 257 Song Sparrows),
raptors (the low ground north of the Everett STP produced, among others, 3
falcon sp including the CBC's first Gyrfalcon, along with roosting Barn Owl
and a SE Owl), rails (including wintering Sora sometimes), and others. N.
Goshawk, Snowy Owl, Golden Eagle and other goodies have shown in winter here
as well.

Once the rodent and small-bird rich weedy scrub is eliminated, one has to
expect a decline in raptors. If nearby Spencer Island is any clue, expect a
decline too in the sparrows, especially Lincoln's; note too the loss of
walking access along the dikes compared to before the breaching. When live
roost trees are killed by salt-water inundation, one would expect that birds
reliant on those will disappear, such as roosting owls. One gets the sense
that inundation will also be executed to the northeast, that is, right below
Sunnyside Blvd, coming up close to the s.e. corner of Marysville.

One would think that birders above all would be following in this trend. At
the very time when we are losing other terrestrial habitat at a meteoric
rate to residential development, especially in the lowlands of Snohomish
County, the loss of such areas is alarming to this observer.

Scott Atkinson
Lake Stevens
mail to: scottratkinson at hotmail.com

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