Sprawl is Good for Salmon

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-For a-decade, Oregon has been pushing cities to concentrate their residents in high-density housing. But now the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) says that the savior of Northwest salmon is . . . urban sprawl! Guidelines developed by NMFS scientists to protect salmon say that new developments should cover no more than ten percent of any given acre with pavement or buildings.

That means new developments should be no denser than, say, one or two homes per acre. Oregon’s policies of packing people into much higher densities, say the biologists, are bad for the salmon. As a result, the executive of Portland’s regional planning agency, Mike Burton, says it is time to “take a second look at Oregon’s land-use policies.”

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