Topic

environmental protection

489 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Cottage Grove Mayor, Cottage Grove City Council, Cottage Grove City Administration, Cottage Grove Parks and Recreation Department, Member of the Public anywhere in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area or Minnesota-wide!

Protect the Mississippi River. Save the Mississippi Dunes!

Help us protect the Mississippi River and preserve the Mississippi Dunes property as a public nature preserve for generations to enjoy. Take action to support protecting this property by signing this petition! What is the Mississippi Dunes? The Mississippi Dunes is a 185-acre property located on Mooers Lake, a lake connected to the Mississippi River, immediately adjacent to the 237-acre Grey Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural area. It features incredible, sweeping views of historic Grey Cloud Island and the Mississippi River valley, 3000 feet of Mississippi River shoreline and incredible ecological, historic and cultural resources. The property features beautiful natural landscapes of oak savannah, prairie and natural sand dunes, serving as a haven for a high diversity of wildlife including many endangered and threatened species. The property is a recognized critical habitat and provides a natural buffer for the river from the city above. What is the concern? Out-of-State Private Developers want to build a gated, high-density development in a pristine natural area along the Mississippi River. The Cottage Grove City Council has already rezoned the Mississippi Dunes property to allow for single family homes to be built on it. The new owner of the property has contracted with Pulte Homes and is requesting that the City Council rezone the property again to allow for medium and high density housing (townhomes and apartment buildings). An environmental review is unlikely to be requested by the city and would not automatically be required by any governing body!  Putting any housing on this property would be a travesty and would have extremely negative impacts on Mississippi River water quality, habitat and wildlife, viewshed, traffic and noise, and most of all, it would destroy a pristine area and incredible city resource unique to any along the Mississippi River - see below for the details of these impacts. There is a much better option that benefits everyone - a public, nature-based park. Ever since the Mississippi Dunes property became available, the Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) has worked toward a solution to protect the entire property as public open space. FMR has been bringing together parties that could help purchase, restore and own as much public space as possible at Mississippi Dunes. There is a place for housing and infrastructure in a city, but the Mississippi Dunes is not that place. Mississippi Dunes is a pristine piece of property perfectly set up to be transitioned to a public park with public trails and river access for generations to enjoy. It holds significant ecological, historical and cultural value to the residents of this area and to many statewide. It is overwhelmingly clear that the Mississippi Dunes property serves its highest and best use as a natural park space for all to enjoy. This property would give the public an opportunity for extremely unique, natural Mississippi River access that cannot be found in any other part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. It can offer four season outdoor recreation and educational opportunities, uninterrupted natural views in immediate proximity to the state's largest metropolitan area, a nature-based experience appealing to any age group without the interruption of unnatural infrastructure, and a chance to see and personally experience the native wildlife and habitat so critical to the river and its unique and threatened ecosystem.     ~~Why You Should Take Action to Protect the Mississippi Dunes from Development~~ ECONOMICS Costs of private housing development  If housing was built, curb, gutter, roads and street lights would need to be put in and paid for by the citizens of Cottage Grove, which would be an enormous cost due to the remote location and tumultuous topography of the property Creating a public park at Mississippi Dunes would require very little investment and maintenance costs would be low as the trails are already in place, a road and parking are already in place, and there are private parties interested in fixing and leasing the buildings Remediation costs and dangers (there are significant costs to disturbing this soil as it is a historical dumping area with likely significant soil pollution; there is also danger to neighboring groundwater wells and the Mississippi River if tampering of the soil takes place) A park can provide income for the City of Cottage Grove The City could lease existing buildings - SISU, an environmental school is interested in locating their school on the property (more schools are needed in the area) and the outbuildings could be leased to an interested landscape restoration company Buildings could also be rented to the public for special events The City could offer equipment and gear rental for seasonal outdoor recreation Purchasing and maintaining the land through partnerships   There is money available for public purchase through several different public and non-profit groups (already identified and ready to purchase) and the owner could still receive a fair price without resorting to building housing Attracting residents to the area and increasing housing values The value of properties near park lands is much higher than the values of homes and homes in cities that do not offer outdoor amenities. Cottage Grove has nothing like this currently to offer its residents. Millennials are largest group of home buyers and they value green spaces and wish to preserve and protect our natural resources – they look for nature-based experiences and native park spaces. With over 36,000 residents, it would be a huge oversight and a complete misstep of the city to not take full advantage of this opportunity that many more upscale communities use to attract homebuyers. Minnesotans want to have access to water, and the City of Cottage Grove cannot offer that today, but if they created a public park at Mississippi Dunes, they could. Safety concerns if the property was developed Building homes on this property is concerning as a railroad dissects the property, bringing noise and safety concerns The current road could not support the vehicle traffic of an entire development with high density housing and would need to be completely reconstructed and expanded, costing the tax payers significant money Tampering with the soil through the property development process puts neighboring groundwater at risk, could result in severe Mississippi River contamination, and contamination of the groundwater of homes nearby and downstream (this is caused by the loss of trees, soil disturbance and the nature of sand dune soil). This property is especially risky due to its status as a historic toxic dumping grounds, its soil profile and its history as a golf course. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture published a notice to the public about this issue in 2015, which can be found here: Golf Course Contamination from Pesticide Use (state.mn.us). Recently, the City of Saint Paul has been tasked with paying for significant remediation of a golf course to develop it into housing due to fungicide and fertilizer soil contamination; this project is known as the Hillcrest Golf Course project. COMMUNITY BENEFITS By transitioning Mississippi Dunes into a public, nature-based park, we preserve and provide: Access to natural areas correlate with more successful people – lowers blood pressure, increases overall health, builds memories, leads to more successful people The park could serve as a community event hub – parties, fundraisers, weddings, seasonal festivals, pumpkin carving, spring clean-up, environmental learning Historical value – located just down the river from the historic lime kiln, an easy paddle to Settler’s Island, and across from Grey Cloud Island, a rich, historical home to the Prairie Island Mdewakanton Sioux Indian Community Cultural value – historic Dakota village, high concentration of burial mounds, meteorite impact sites  Outdoor activity - river access for kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, fishing, snow shoeing, skiing, biking, walking, running, etc. Amenities, such as equipment rental, experiential learning, marathons, charity events, organized learning, “walks” Education – Allowing the Environmental School to operate on the property would add capacity to the strained system and provide a unique community resource ECOLOGY Sand dune soil – development will destroy soil health, aquatic resources, will cause runoff and groundwater contamination, and overall significant natural resource degradation Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) Next Door! – SNA’s have no active management, the Mississippi Dunes property would easily transition into walking, biking, hiking and skiing trails, which would also expand natural access for contiguous natural area for wildlife and human enjoyment from the neighboring Grey Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural Area This property is a: Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area Mississippi National River and Recreation Area National Park – Designated Primary Conservation Area Audubon Society Designated Important Bird Area We need to demand that the City of Cottage Grove protect the Mississippi Dunes or they WILL develop it. The City of Cottage Grove, as the local jurisdiction, has a responsibility to uphold the standards of the Mississippi River Critical Corridor Area. This requires that they maintain zoning and keep an updated comprehensive plan that “protects the corridor’s natural, cultural and scenic resources”. This includes protecting Primary Conservation Areas or PCA’s from development, vegetation removal, and land alteration activities. PCA’s include shore impact zones, bluff impact zones, floodplains, native plant communities, significant existing vegetative stands, cultural and historic properties and more. However, the Cottage Grove City Council have shown a strong intention to push for the entire property to be developed They have already zoned it for residential development and are entertaining discussions on rezoning it for medium and high density housing. Nothing like this property exists anywhere else in the Twin Cities metropolitan area! This is our one and only chance to protect and preserve this incredible resource for those of us living today and for future generations, and it must be done now, or it will be too late, and it will be gone forever.  Please sign this petition to tell the City of Cottage Grove that a housing development is not the right choice for the Mississippi Dunes. A public, nature-based park is the right thing to do with this unique, incredible resource.   “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” ~ American Indian Proverb   “Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money.” ~Cree Proverb   A note on who we are: We are a large group of concerned residents of Cottage Grove (and some from surrounding communities, such as Minneapolis and Saint Paul) that love this natural area and understand that it must be protected and shared with members of the public. This property should not be sold to the highest bidder for private use and destruction, but saved for all the enjoy! It is an incredibly special area of the river and the only like it from Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. Help us save it from developers!

Carla Inderrieden
2,196 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Hamilton Town Manager Joseph J. Domelowicz Jr.

HELP SAVE CHEBACCO TRAILS & WATERSHED

WHY YOU WANT TO SIGN THIS PETITION? Signing this petition is telling Hamilton Town officials that this development is not worth the risk, nor the loss of habitat and open space.  Because this area is enjoyed by people from all over the North Shore and beyond, you don’t need to be just from Hamilton to sign. This is a serious, extremely disruptive project that significantly alters the land, deforests around 30 acres of heavy mature growth, and risks destroying a watershed that provides drinking water to Hamilton and Manchester. The permit request will be for 50 units that are age limited to 55 and older. The development includes nearby Meadowbrook Farm and the wooded land abutting Chebacco Woods.  Developed land is irreversible. When it is gone, it is gone forever. WHAT'S AT RISK? 1) WATERSHED FOR MANCHESTER & HAMILTON  Manchester’s water supply comes from Gravelly Pond which depends on ground water  S. Hamilton’s water supply comes the Zone 2 wells on School Street which draw their water from this aquifer  Chebacco Road and all surrounding homes have their own wells which draw directly from the same aquifer that 50 new homes will  The developer plans aggressive blasting for roads and to flatten an area large enough to build 50 units on. The blasting alone could permanently damage the watershed/aquifer Septic plans are close to wetlands and in one case, cross the wetlands  At this point it is unclear how storm water will be treated, leading to another contaminate to the watershed  All this, in an area that has perpetual water bans  2) OPEN SPACE  Several vernal ponds, significant wetlands and marshes  Natural habitat w/ diverse wildlife - eagles to salamanders, fox to hummingbirds  Trails and stone walls dating back to the Civil War and connect to Chebacco Woods Quiet moments walking your dog Adrenaline pumping mountain bike challenges Horseback riding Cross country skiing in fresh powder, and so much more UNH mycologists run field trips for the mushrooms and fungi that only exist here Please Get Involved Regardless of Where YOU Live: Register at http://www.savechebaccotrails.org to stay informed on meetings, developments, and actions Enlist friends, neighbors, and anyone you meet on the trails – very important Let your elected officials know this is a high risk for the watershed and depletes precious open space Write a letter to Town Hall Manager, Joseph Domelowicz, Jr.  at 577 Bay Road, PO Box 429, Hamilton, MA 01936 Contact Elected Officials and Elected Officials: Contact Town Managers for information about the process, rules, etc. Patrick Reffet, Director of Planning and Inspections, 978-626-5248, preffett@hamiltonma.govBrian Colleran, Conservation Commission Coordinator, 978-626-5247, bcolleran@hamiltonma.gov Richard Luongo, Chair Conservation Commission, rluongo39@gmail.comRick Mitchell, Chair, Planning Board, rmitchell@hamiltonma.govRichard Boroff, Chair Open Space and Planning Board Member, rboroff@hamiltonma.govWilliam Olson, Selectmen Chair, Wolson@hamiltonma.gov or selectmen@hamiltonma.gov for all selectmen Contact: Save Chebacco Trails and Watershed* Website: http://www.savechebaccotrails.org/ Email: SaveChebaccoTrails@gmail.com PO Box 2184, Hamilton, MA 01982 Donate: https://gofund.me/c2c604b6 *formerly Friends of 133 Essex                      

Hilary P Cole
7,540 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

Protect polar bears. No oil drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge

Right now, a company you’ve probably never heard of is lobbying the Department of Interior to speed through environmental impact surveys so they can drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Home to polar bears and caribou, and the Gwich'in Athabascan Native Americans. It’s the last untouched slice of nature in the United States. If there’s an open season on oil and gas in ANWR, it will be yet another instance of public lands being parcelled off by the Trump Administration. Tell the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation to get out of ANWR. In 2017, Arctic Slope spent $590,000 lobbying the federal government to open ANWR up to oil and gas development. Ryan Zinke even appointed one of Arctic Slope’s top executives to a major post at the Department of Interior. Zinke’s office isn’t alone, in 2017 Arctic Slope lobbied the Senate to allow drilling in ANWR’s 1.5 million acre coastal plane. But before oil companies can buy leases, environmental impact surveys have to happen. Under Ryan Zinke, these surveys have been cut to ram the process through as quickly as possible. Lease sales could start as early as 2019! The size of South Carolina, since 1960 ANWR has been protected from oil and gas development. There are no roads and no towns; only the occasional hiker. The Gwich'in Athabascan Native Americans have relied on migrating caribou in ANWR for millennia. There are also 900 threatened polar bears who call ANWR home. Climate change is peeling away ice sheets that restrict their ability to find food. If oil and gas companies start drilling in ANWR, it could be the end of the Gwich’in Native Americans and America’s polar bears. Wildlife and communities shouldn’t be put into harm's way for nominal profits, tell Arctic Slope that ANWR is off limits! Communities across the U.S. are still reeling from decades old oil spills like Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon, if an oil spill happens in the Arctic, it would have devastating consequences. Tell Arctic Slope ANWR isn’t for oil and gas.

Frank Escalona, Michael Cianos and Susan Schmid
1,694,028 supporters
This petition won 12 months ago

Petition to Orinda City Council

Orinda City Council: Grant the Appeal on Oct 20

This petition seeks your support for our Appeal before the Orinda City Council of the Orinda Planning Commission Approval for a design review application for 14 Charles Hill Circle on August 11, 2020.  We are asking the Orinda City Council to GRANT our appeal and the application starts over for the applicant to reasonably reduce the design, reduce the engineering required for a massive project in a hillside and ridgeline zone with such significant detrimental impact to the hillside and neighbors.  The appeal would also allow time to correct errors and omissions in the application as submitted. By signing this petition, you will show City Council your support for smart sustainable and resilient residential growth in Orinda and your support for residents who live, work and play in Orinda. The project is located off St. Stephens exit on Charles Hill Circle and prominent story poles can be viewed from Highway 24, BART, St. Stephens Bike Trail/Exit/Overpass, Saint Hill Road, El Nido Ranch Rd, Charles Hill Rd, Hidden Valley Rd, Tahos Rd and the Orindawoods tennis courts/veranda. With little notice and no direct outreach to neighbors, the Planning commission review of an application for a project at 14 Charles Hill Circle was scheduled in mid-August during a global pandemic that used Zoom as the review platform, ensuring even less comment and serious review of the impacts. The size of this project alone mandates a greater standard of care by all parties. Quick facts about the project: 1. Largest proposed project in Charles Hill vicinity where significant grading that would disturb at least 68% of the dirt on the lot is required 2. New 250 foot long site concrete retaining wall driveway with drilled concrete caged piers into bedrock proposed, to make matters worse asking for an additional encroachment and height variance to come within 30-32 ft of the nearest neighbor's private areas (forever unobstructed views) and creating in effect a fence structure up to 24 feet in height due to the slopes of the hillside from said neighbor's front door and all along the shared border 3. Located on an ending ridgeline which slopes on all sides (sand pile) 4. Destroys privacy to all downhill neighbors’ private backyards 5. Greatly diminishes the desired character and landscape of Orinda which is the main reason we choose to live here 6. All 5 planning commissioners expressed concern around privacy impacts and location of driveway when another location on the site is a viable option with less impact 7. After a further discovery process, the project does not qualify for a categorical exemption under CEQA, the Project does not comply with the Orinda General Plan, Orinda Hillside & Ridgeline Design Guidelines and the Residential Development Guidelines. 8. The project eliminates a 1950 original Midcentury modern house from the housing stock of Orinda, and threatens the integrity of our own Midcentury modern historically significant home designed by architect Paul Hamilton with landscape architecture by Lawrence Halprin. 9. Our Appeal date in front of City Council is scheduled for October 20, 2020, using the adopted Zoom platform We are not opposed to smart thoughtful improvements in our neighborhoods. We are opposed to complete disregard of our residential community. Enough issues have been raised by community members and neighbors to grant the appeal.  Please grant the appeal.   We will be there and we need your support.  THANK YOU! To contact your City Council Members: see this link. The August 11, 2020, Planning Commission meeting packet can be found here the materials can be found starting on page 102, https://orindaca.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1742&Inline=True. For more information, contact thePaulHamiltonHouse@gmail.com.  Thank you! Seeking those who love trees, Midcentury Modern enthusiasts, in addition to those in Orinda.  Other graphics from the petition can be found here. #savethetrees #midcenturymodern #Orinda #OrindaGeneralPlan #historicResource #historicPreservation #CEQA

The Paul Hamilton House in Orinda
86 supporters