As you can see from the long brown strip going up the hill from Bear Creek near Avondale, hundreds of trees were removed to make way for a new power line. Along some sections, you'll see parts of the trees cut off. As ugly as it looks, these trees were purposely cut this way to provide habitat for the remaining wildlife and to try to "save:" the wetlands. Look at the woodpecker eating on the snag. This snag was nearby in the cooler forest where there is shelter from the sun and protection and food from the forest.
According to Ron Ainslie of King County and Thara Johnson of the City of Redmond, there are seven wetlands in the 3 mile easement project; 36 acres in all. The trees in these wetlands were manually cut into "snags" to keep heavy equipment off the fragile vegetation. Two wetlands are high priority, Class 2 wetlands with permanent pools. Even with these snags the wetlands will dry from the lack of shade and poor water retention. The city project planner said the forested wetlands will change to drier "scrub-scrub" wetlands providing habitat for different species.
A PSE worker said their biggest concern is Summer and Fall rain storms. With vegetation and trees removed, the dry, silty soil can easily flood into Bear Creek unless measures are taken. Silt fences need to go up - black, permeable cloth and burlap rolls. Have you been out there, yet? My wife and I saw a Bald Eagle, this Hairy Woodpecker, and a hummingbird when I took these pictures.
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