Proposed PUD wildlife overlay explained by Intermountain Aquatics
Jeff Klausmann from Intermountain Aquatics presented an explanation of the science behind the wildlife overlay mapping included in the revised PUD ordinance. Klausmann stated that he reviewed the wildlife overlay map that accompanied the currently proposed PUD, and “it is a bargain for the county.” He explained what he (as a biologist) would recommend that the county do with development applications for properties located inside wildlife overlay areas. The overlay map would merely serve as a “coarse filter” by triggering the need for further review of wildlife of the property. Klausmann worked through a hypothetical scenario where an entire parcel was located in a wildlife overlay zone with several types of wildlife habitats on the property. First, the owner would need to do a wildlife inventory, and locate the critical and sensitive habitat areas on the property. From there, some decisions would have to be made in terms of which habitats on the property would be preserved in exchange for building homes on other habitat areas on the property. The key is to give landowners the flexibility to choose which habitats on their property will be spared in exchange for being able to build on other areas on the property. Or as summarized by Klausmann, “it boils down to a system of trade offs, where we choose to protect certain hallmark species in our valley.” Commissioner Bruce Arnold expressed the importance of developing a system and procedure for how to proceed with developments located in the wildlife overlay.