All residents of Clark County, regardless of location, age or political preference, should be outraged over the environmental, social and economic disaster that is taking place in Chelatchie Prairie (“Neighbors say Chelatchie project has damaged streams,” The Columbian, Oct. 17).
The Portland Vancouver Junction Railroad is a county-owned, 135-year-old railroad line, originally the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad that is now leased to an operator. The operator claims he is regulated differently and makes aggressive efforts to take ownership of surrounding land, including rich agricultural land, private residential property and downtown Battle Ground for heavy industrial uses, promising up to thousands of rail cars a month of aggregate mined from pristine forests and creating irreversible damage in north county along a 33-mile swath through the center of Clark County.
Voice your concerns by writing to your county councilor and county management and attending council meetings. Stay up-to-date by going to Clark County websites, such as Clark County Community Planning (Freight Rail Dependent Uses).