To the editor:
As the council vote for the Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) comes to its deadline, I find it sad to think that the need for this is even being questioned. The US Fish and Wildlife has just declared that an additional 23 species (including the ivory billed woodpecker) have now been officially declared extinct, and habitat loss seems to be a factor in many of these losses. Extinct means gone, forever.
I recognize the importance and need to build affordable housing. It seems to me that there are options that we must continue to discuss as the process moves along. We need to pause, and also consider what we can do to protect animals that have been identified as being endangered. This is especially true in the case of a pollinator that serves such a vital role in the survival of other plants and animals (including homo sapiens). We can do both, build affordable housing and protect the bees.
If we, the people of Northfield do nothing, then who will? If people hold on to an attitude of “I’m right! You’re wrong,” then we will all suffer. We can proceed with doing an EAW, and then move forward with planning the best affordable housing for this location. The process may aggravate some who are on a timeline, and just want to get it done. However, we need to slow down, and evaluate more broadly what it means to do a project that is best for this location. We need our local representatives to vote in favor of going forward with the EAW, to assure that we are doing what is best for the development, Northfield, and the environment. We do not want to play a role in yet another extinction.