The Clark County Planning Commission and Clark County commissioners have scheduled hearings to consider whether to permit surface mining on about 40 percent of the former Camp Bonneville. A hearing was held Sept. 19 and another is scheduled for Oct. 1. The proposed areas are shown in a map at http://1.usa.gov/1eQxGKo.
The proposal to permit surface mining on much of the former camp appears to be a major revision of the expressed plans of Clark County officials to convert the area into a county park once cleanup of the site is completed in the next few years.
Residents of the area have additional concerns:
The narrow roads of the area were not designed to permit additional traffic by heavy trucks.
The square of land in the southern portion of Autumn Hills is an environmentally sensitive area with wetlands and the origin of the iconic Little Washougal River.
This square of land lies at the heart of one of the nicest communities of homes in Clark County.
If county commissioners vote to permit surface mining on these lands, many of us feel that they will be shooting themselves in the foot economically and politically — by undermining the tax base of the county and by alienating a well-established, well-organized and politically active community of voters.
Bob and Angela Pond