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Trails and bike routes in Kitsap pair with protecting the environment

As a climate activist, cyclist, and advocate for non-motorized transportation, I followed with interest the discussion earlier this summer around a paved North Kitsap Sound to Olympics trail, proposed in the vicinity of North Kitsap Heritage Park. I offer here a few perspectives that may be relevant there or in any regional planning, along with some examples of what may work.

— The biggest threat to the critters (for whom the paved surface was voiced to be an impairment to movement) is the climate crisis. Our wetlands will probably dry up and disappear unless the crisis is stopped. Temperature increases will mean the critters will have to migrate north because our region won’t be habitable for them anymore.

— If engineering studies identify critical areas for which additional measures are needed to accommodate critter movement, there are solutions out there. A great example of trail design in wetland areas is the Soos Creek Trail in King County, where sections of the trail surface are elevated, and wetland creatures pass underneath.

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