The Osprey Group
Why was this Assessment Conducted?
The West 11
Street Garfield Street, Florence-Eugene Highway Project has been under
consideration for over two decades. The project is now in the final stages of
environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) with the
Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) as the lead state agency and the Federal
Highway Administration (FHWA) as the lead federal agency. The Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (USACE) are cooperating agencies in the NEPA review and approval process.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) plays an important role in the review of
endangered species issues and other state, federal and local levels of government are also
Several community groups oppose the current preferred alternative, known as the West
Eugene Parkway or WEP, based on environmental and other grounds. Other stakeholders
would like to see the Parkway constructed, and are frustrated with the slow pace of
project development and review. FHWA, ODOT and the City of Eugene agreed to
support an assessment of the controversy and asked for assistance from the U.S. Institute
for Environmental Conflict Resolution, a federal agency whose mission is to help
stakeholders resolve conflicts over public lands, natural resources and the environment,
where a federal agency or interest is involved.
This assessment describes the controversy surrounding the proposed West Eugene
Parkway, with particular emphasis on what, if any, expanded community involvement
might be helpful. We asked two fundamental questions: How did the situation evolve in
the way it has? What will it take to move ahead?
Who Conducted the Assessment?
The Osprey Group was selected to conduct this assessment. Osprey, based in Boulder,
Colorado, acts as a neutral third party to help address and resolve a range of public policy
disputes, often involving transportation, natural resources and environmental issues.
Dennis Donald and John Huyler, Principals with the firm, conducted this assessment.
How was it Performed?
A number of interested and potentially affected individuals and organizations were
interviewed as part of this assessment. Osprey conducted interviews with over 50 people
in Oregon, the vast majority of which were face-to-face. A list of those interviewed is
shown in Appendix A. Our goal was to gain a range and balance of perspectives from the
community. Undoubtedly, we missed some people with worthwhile views. We
It is interesting to note that the words "move ahead" were interpreted as a bias on our part by a few.
These people thought "move ahead" meant we were in favor of building the WEP. To be clear, we are not
in favor of any particular outcome.