A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Now that the ‘hazard trees’ are gone …

Written November 7th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

Signs and a map mark the eastern entrance of the North Albany Natural Area.

Last month Benton County had a lot of Douglas firs removed from the natural area at the corner of Crocker Lane and Valley View Drive in North Albany.  So let’s do a quick check and see what the place looks like now.

I stopped there around mid-day Sunday, and here’s the result:

You recall that this wooded area of roughly 10 acres had originally been destined to be covered with streets and houses. But Myles Breadner, the developer of the nearby subdivision, agreed to donate the property to Benton County as part of  a deal on street improvements along Crocker.

Now the area is administered as part of nearby North Albany County Park.

The county says some of the Douglas firs in this stand were ailing or dead and needed to come out lest they eventually fall and hurt someone. They expect to have to go in there every few years to do the same thing again.

But they’re replanting the area with another conifer, a valley pine better suited to the changed climate in the Willamette Valley.

As you can see, the area’s footpaths have been reopened to public use since the logging operation was completed.

Since there’s no adjacent off-street parking, the footpath evidently is intended mainly for people living nearby. Still, if you’re curious what this “natural area” is like, go and check it out. (hh)

9 responses to “Now that the ‘hazard trees’ are gone …”

  1. Craig says:

    I have been there. Albany needs more well maintained properties like this. Thanks for your reporting.

    • StopTheGrowth says:

      Sorry Craig! With the continued building our greedy city government keeps allowing, places like this will be smaller and fewer in the future. You’ll have to go to a golf course or a cemetery for and “green” areas.

      • Bob Woods says:

        Look, city government can’t “stop” growth. They don’t have the power.

        This growth occurs on private property. It’s not owned by the public, it’s private. In addition state law, for the last 40 years or so, requires the city to plan for and accommodate growth by providing necessary public facilities. The city charges the developers the costs associated with those additional needed facilities which end up in the cost of the development.

        Learn more, and then you can be more effective in addressing the problems that comes with a growing population.

        • StopTheGrowth says:

          Our last mayor sure did a better job of at least slowing the growth. That’s the main reason the current city government wants nothing to do with her. The current bunch have gone full bore trying to make us like Portland. Like I’ve said before, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who moved to Albany to live in a “big city”. We’ll all pay for it in the end.

        • Sharon Konopa says:

          Bob, you are correct with state law. But not with local government, as they set the fee to recoup the cost for expanding the infrastructure and Albany’s SDC’s have never been set high enough to cover the full cost of growth. You can remember the push back every time that conversation came up! Transportation SDC’s on new development do not even scratch the surface for the long term need and even bridges and overpasses are one huge chunk with no identified funding. Also, growth puts the demand to expand police, fire and schools. As you know that falls on the existing residents to subsidize with increased property taxes to pay for the expansion of all facilities.

          • StopTheGrowth says:

            So Sharon, how do we get a building moratorium on the ballot?

          • Sharon Konopa says:

            To: Stop the Growth, state law requires any moratorium to have a solution to the reason for a moratorium within a short time frame. If my memory is correct it was only for a year or two. It needs to be based on a valid reason, like a lack of infrastructure. Development codes can slow down the growth and provide better well planned growth, but the state ruined that for cities our size with SB1573 and HB2001. Those basically were feel good bills for the state legislature at the expense of neighborhoods for cities with 25k population or more. That is another long subject!
            There is a way to slow down growth, but I m not mentioning that on this site, as the pro development folks who would read this would choke on their morning coffee!

  2. Diane says:

    Thank you for sharing a view of the walking path after the tree removal. I know this path well and can see from your video the impact of the loss of these trees. I understand the need to remove trees that posed a hazard and hope the new ones will do well. This little area is home to quite a bit of wildlife that are dependent on the shelter and food supply it provides.


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