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Road Update and Invitation April 18, 2017

Pat Keegan of the Friends of the Bluff board will present.
Avista, the City of Spokane and First Tee also invited to speak




The unauthorized road bulldozed across the bluff on April 11th is shocking to behold. Over a mile long. Scores of trees downed. Thousands of square feet of plants, just beginning to awaken after a long winter, buried by mounds of earth.


This road, to a proposed 3-hole golf course that was not even approved, was completely unnecessary because there is a short existing road connecting the site to the Qualchan driving range.


This unauthorized act may exceed, in terms of human-caused destruction,
anything to befall City park land in modern times.


Friends of the Bluff is an all-volunteer nonprofit but is doing our best to respond:

  • We helped alert City and Avista staff about the problem early on 4/12

  • We’ve informed the media. Our photos have been shown over and over on TV.

  • We created a new web page. Visit it at The page includes links to a map of the road, media release from the City, and stories that have appeared in the Spokesman-Review.

  • We sent a mass email on 4/13

  • Our Board decided to take an aggressive position. Our 4/13 letter to the Director of the City Parks Department (see the letter here)  makes it clear that we want:

>    Full, complete remediation of the damage
>    The existing tree removal permit revoked
>    No agreement or negotiations on the proposed golf course until remediation is complete and a public process implemented
>    Remediation to begin immediately 
>    Civil or criminal prosecution to be considered if the parties responsible for this do not immediately begin remediation

•    FOB’s Board President Jim Wilson stated our recommendations at the 4/13 Park Board meeting.  Our letter was front page news the next day
•    We’ve enlisted dozens of volunteers and have begun to organize


What will the Friends of the Bluff do now?

•    Push for remediation to begin soon, to rescue thousands of square feet of natural vegetation that is covered by a foot or less of dirt but could survive with prompt action.
•    Keep the spotlight on the problem.  We are speaking at the Comstock Neighborhood Council Wednesday and will seek other opportunities to speak to community groups.  We’ll continue posting info on our website and in Nextdoor.
•    Strengthen FOB so we can have greater influence towards a positive solution.   We are forming a "Repair the Road Working Group" to monitor all relevant activity and make recommendations to the FOB board for strong and effective action.  
•    Build strong media outreach to bring attention to the effort.  
•    Attract donations and financial support that will support coordination activities and amplify our message.


How can you help?
  1. Attend the Wednesday meeting at Sacajawea Middle School listed at the top of this email.

  2. Donate: FOB needs funds to support our push for complete restoration of the illegal road, to attract more support for stewardship activities and to prevent development that could encroach into natural areas.  Your support at any level makes a huge difference! Give via the donate page on our website today.

  3. Volunteer!  You can sign up at on our volunteer page. We need team members and leaders in the following areas:

>    Media monitor.  We need someone to collect and organize all media reports about the road restoration and other issues affecting the Bluff
>    Fundraising.  We need help to organize fundraising events, help us start a membership program and develop appeals to donors.
>    A "Repair the Road Working Group" will be launched if we have enough interest.  This group will monitor remediation efforts and make recommendations to the FOB board for strong and effective action.  To volunteer for this group go to the Repair Illegal Road Damage page and explain how much effort or knowledge you could contribute.
>    Trails planner.  We need a few people to help set up a way to solicit input from trail users and to develop a trail plan.
>    Marketing and outreach.  FOB needs to grow our mailing list and website traffic and promote events.
>    Board member.  We need a few more Board members that can be active and involved and help us build the organization


Thanks for supporting the Bluff!   Thanks for making your voice heard!  And thanks for any support you can provide!

Pat Keegan
Friends of the Bluff Board

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