Growth placing pressure on wildlife, ourselves

I watch a deer family meandering through our neighbor’s yard, stopping to nibble or rest under the stand of native evergreens. A doe stops to drink from the runoff on the sidewalk from a recent rain.

Seeing deer and wildlife wandering in our neighborhood has become more common. I moved to Lake Stevens many years ago and loved the beauty of the area. New developments are being built, leveling every single tree and shrub, and houses packed closely together, leaving no habitat for wildlife. The beautiful woods once surrounding our neighborhood are gone. There are no longer any trees on the hillside above us. We get a lot of runoff, flooding sidewalks and the crawlspace under our house.

I cringe each time I see the deer try to cross with all the fast-moving traffic on 20th Street SE. Recently, I watched a doe nudging two spotted fawns across this increasingly busy road. Some mornings, I have a difficult time pulling out onto 20th Street SE, even in my car. Until recently my commute to Everett was 15 minutes, but is now 45 minutes, much of it spent idling on the trestle.

We talk about the environment and global warming, but at the same time are eradicating all the trees that remove carbon dioxide, prevent erosion and provide wildlife habitat. More traffic means more pollution. Will our children and grandchildren have the chance to see native trees and wildlife? We can no longer see the forest because there are no trees.

Carol Newman

Lake Stevens

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