A crushed rock mining company has submitted a proposal to demolish Liberty Hill in St. Helens. Liberty Hill is the largest Camas meadow left in northwest Oregon, is more pristine than any other such habitat within forty miles, and is home to an array of plants and wildlife rarely seen in our area including wildflowers, wetland plants, invertebrates, and reptiles, as well as having historical significance to Native Americans and pioneers both.
I could write for pages regarding the ecological uniqueness of Liberty Hill. It has dozens of wildflowers and plants that are uncommon in our region, including Fringed Loosetrife, a unique flower that attracts pollinators with oil rather than nectar. No other Fringed Loosetrife are found within 50 miles of St. Helens. Two vernal ponds on the bluff support Oregon Fairy Shrimp, a species known from just a few dozen localities worldwide. Liberty Hill may soon be the last refuge in Columbia County for Western Skinks and Gopher Snakes, two Willamette Valley reptiles that have become extremely rare in northwest Oregon.
But better than writing all that, I decided to pour it all out in a video. Thanks to Lewis Reynolds, Larissa Huson, Matt D’Agrosa, Paul Parker, and Luke Green, there is some incredible video footage of a natural wonder like nothing you’ve ever seen in Oregon.
To be clear, we don’t oppose the company’s desire to mine crushed rock. We just want them to use their already identified alternative site nearby, which could provide crushed rock for decades and would not require the destruction of a unique natural resource. Take the 2nd option, instead of the 1st option. That’s all we ask.
The public comment period to respond to the gravel mining application ends on January 15th – NOTE, THE COMMENT PERIOD FOR RESPONDING HAS NOW BEEN EXTENDED TO JANUARY 30. If you would like to submit a comment and need more information on how to do it or what to write about, please message us or go to the following link by Friends of Liberty Hill.
Thank you for being involved in protecting one of our true natural and historical wonders.
3 thoughts on “Liberty Hill’s camas and the impact of mining”
For those who didn’t see the edit, the comment period for responding to the Army Corps of Engineers has now been extended to January 30.
“Submitting Comments: Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the proposed project…Either conventional mail or e-mail comments must include the Corps reference number as shown on page 1 and include the commenter’s name and address. In order to be accepted, e-mail comments must originate from the author’s e-mail account and must include on the subject line of the e-mail message the Corps reference number. All comments received will become part of the administrative record and are subject to public release under the Freedom of Information Act including any personally identifiable information such as names, phone numbers, and addresses.
Comments should be submitted to the following mailing address or email address:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
North Bend Field Office
2201 Broadway, Suite C
North Bend, Oregon 97459-2372
More information on the hill and how to respond is here:
That drone photo by Lewis Reynolds is stunning. Think he’d sell me a print?
I love your video too. So many great points, so well written.
You can find him on Facebook if you’re interested.