Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Crater Lake - Klamath Regional Airport (KLMT) plans focus on endangered plant

A small plant native to Klamath Falls could become a big problem for the city's airport.

Applegate's milkvetch, an endangered plant found at the Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport, was a topic of interest at a Monday work session at City Hall. Members of Klamath Falls City Council and staff discussed how the plants are affecting design of a new runway at the city's airport, and the steps needed to find a solution.

There are about 22,000 Applegate's milkvetch plants at the city's airport, but only 1,000 plants could interfere with the Taxiway J project at Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport, according to city staff. If a solution cannot be reached to design a taxiway that doesn't interfere with the milkvetch plants, Airport Director John Longley said the city should redirect work to Taxiway G. A biologist is slated to study the plant with Operations Manager Bill Hancock next week, and provide more information at a later date.

"While we have worked to address the milkvetch issue, time has been tolling against entitlement funds and carry over to support the project," Longley said in a memorandum.

An altering role

Hancock said the core of the milkvetch plant is subterranean, and modifies alkaline soil so other plants can grow.

"It's like an iceberg," Hancock said. "There's a part of it below ground. It'll grow dormant and in a month, you won't even find evidence of the plant above the surface.

"Bunnies like it," he added.

Councilors agreed that city staff should consider Longley's recommendation to preserve the Taxiway J improvement and Taxiway G work, which would save the city the loss of grant money.

"If (Taxiway) J doesn't work, we have the ability to maintain our initiative on (Taxiway) G," Longley said. "(Taxiway) G will be a win because it will support the (Air National) Guard; it will support aviation in general."

City Manager Nathan Cherpeski said he hoped to receive help from the Federal Aviation Administration to find a solution to the environmental issue.

"We're not the only airport dealing with endangered species issues," Cherpeski said.


No comments:

Post a Comment

All messages must be civil in tone; if critical, must be constructive. This is a place where we learn what not to do next time. Personal attacks and hate speech directed at the NTSB investigators, FAA investigators, Designated Pilot Examiners, Kathryn, as well as other members of the aviation blog, are unacceptable because they are not constructive. Messages that harass, abuse or threaten other persons, such as threats to cause bodily harm, or that contain obscene or otherwise objectionable content, may result in the loss of your posting privileges.