Laserfiche WebLink
<br /> e lands where agricultural use has eliminated wetland plants, but where hydric <br /> (wet) soils and hydrology (water) are still present. <br /> Responding to a question from Mr. Boles, Mr. Gordon said the directors of all <br /> four agencies have adopted the manual nationwide, and that the broadening of <br /> this wetland definition does seem to be supported at the federal level. <br /> Mr. Holmer commented that a good portion of the hydric soils now considered <br /> as wetlands are in urban areas, and asked for a practical distinction between <br /> hydric soils and agricultural wetlands. Mr. Gordon noted that ninety percent <br /> of what are currently considered as disturbed wetland areas have occurred as <br /> a result of agricultural practices and that both hydric soils and hydrology <br /> needed to be present to constitute an agricultural wetland. <br /> Ms. Bascom inquired about whether other areas are experiencing the same <br /> impact as Eugene as a result of broadening the definition. Mr. Gordon <br /> responded that the wetland impact in Oregon is different than in other states <br /> because Oregon's statewide land use planning program requires urban growth <br /> boundaries. <br /> Mr. Gordon noted that there is little difference in the definition of <br /> wetlands that makes a distinction between those areas with potential wetland <br /> value and those without. He added that he felt the EPA should work toward <br /> establishing an incentive program which would give local communities credit <br /> for the mitigation of historic wetlands that lie within their urban growth <br /> boundaries. <br /> e Ms. Schue commented that many cities offer strong support for the <br /> preservation of wetlands, and warned that the council must use caution in <br /> devaluing the idea of wetland preservation. She offered Hillsboro, Oregon, <br /> and Arcata, California, as good examples of communities that have strongly <br /> endeavored toward the preservation of wetland areas. Mr. Miller acknowledged <br /> that some wetland areas are of important benefit, but alerted the council <br /> that some caution must be used in attempting to preserve wetland areas which <br /> have no potential future benefit as wetlands. <br /> Mr. Boles offered suggestions for possible approaches to dealing with the <br /> wetlands issue. He indicated that policy creation can be targeted at the <br /> Federal or State administrative levels or within the State legislative <br /> process. Mr. Gordon concurred that there are legal, legislative, and <br /> administrative solutions. He agreed with Ms. Schue that a congressional <br /> solution would be difficult to reach because of strong sentiments in favor of <br /> the Clean Water Act. <br /> Ms. Decker asked for council direction on this issue, and indicated that the <br /> recommendations from staff are for the council to direct it to: 1) work with <br /> Federal and State agencies to determine the status and effect of recent <br /> changes in the standard method for determining which wetlands are subject to <br /> regulation; 2) work with these agencies to determine how they will treat <br /> areas covered by the new methodology and what replacement ratios will be <br /> e MINUTES--Eugene City Council December 4, 1989 Page 2 <br /> Dinner/Work Session <br />