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Thursday, February 22, 2024
Feb. 22, 2024

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Letter: Railroad falls short of goal


In a recent letter to the editor, Portland Vancouver Junction Railroad owner Eric Temple wrote, “Our project’s entire goal was to safeguard Chelatchie Creek” (“Local railroad remains diligent,” Our Readers’ Views, Nov. 24).

I am not sure what are the “accusations” to which Mr. Temple refers, but so far, Mr. Temple and his company have conducted unauthorized and unpermitted road construction, logging, filling and grading on two separate environmentally sensitive areas.

Representatives of the Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Marine Fisheries Service, EPA, along with county code enforcement officers have made at least one, and in some cases, two visits to each of the properties. I have reviewed multiple emails and letters from the various agencies to Mr. Temple and anticipate more to come. To date, the unanimous determinations of all the agencies have been that, even when told to get permits in advance, he failed to do so and that all the evidence from the site inspections shows that construction activities were unpermitted, caused damage to the environment and will need significant work to repair.

If his goal was to safeguard, Mr. Temple fell far, far short.

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