More to Do at Weyerhaeuser


More to Do at Weyerhaeuser

More to Do at Weyerhaeuser
Jun 22, 2021

The proposed construction of warehouses on the former Weyerhaeuser Corporate Headquarters campus is moving forward following the issuance of a draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) by the Army Corps of Engineers as part of the federal level Section 106 review being managed by the Corps.

Weyerhaeuser International Headquarters, Federal Way, WA - Photo courtesy Chris Dimond-PWP, 2015

In a June 9, 2021, letter to the Corps and consulting parties The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) raised a number of concerns about the management of the review process. The MOA would codify a proposal hammered out between Dr. Allyson Brooks at the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) and Industrial Reality Group (IRG), owner of the former Weyerhaeuser site now called Federal Way Campus (FWC).  Consulting parties to the Section 106 review were presented with the results of private negotiations between DAHP and IRG/FWC.  The Corps has stated on several occasions that the mitigation in the proposal crafted by DAHP and IRG/FWC is “sufficient” and that “requiring significant additional mitigation would not be fair to FWC.”

The Corps has not stated why “requiring significant additional mitigation would not be fair to FWC.” Nor has the Corps what is and is not “fair.” In its letter TCLF stated: “The Corps avers it ‘is open to other mitigation measures - we have not made a decision.’” The letter continues: “The Corps ‘may not have made a decision,’ but it appears the Corps is not only strongly predisposed to accept the DAHP/FWC deal it is not interested in” additional mitigation.

Weyerhaeuser International Headquarters, Federal Way, WA - Photo by Joe Mabel, via Wikimedia Commons, 2017

In an effort to include tangible, concrete metrics for the proposed screening of the new warehouse construction, TCLF's June 10 letter to the Corps and consulting parties suggested incorporating visual simulations put forward by IRG/FWC as formal exhibits. IRG has repeatedly claimed their visual simulations accurately reflect measures to minimize the visibility of the warehouses. In a June 10, 2021, email to TCLF and consulting parties, DAHP’s Dr. Brooks wrote: “I don’t see why IRG and the Corps would oppose the IRG visuals being in the [MOA].” Thus far the Corps has only said that it would take TCLF’s suggestions “into consideration.”

The next Section 106 meeting will be held on Friday July 2, 2021.