NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Power of Community Based Planning

D.K. Swickard writes the South Yuba River plan a product of compromise, in a March 11, 2005 Other Voices.
The planners of the South Yuba River Comprehensive Management Plan should receive high praise. The planners, however, were not government employees; they were the citizens of Nevada County. Agency staff played a critical role in organizing and facilitating the project, but the real job of planning was the work of the people.


Possibly the most important lesson to come out of this effort is that the toxic political climate that resulted from the wild and scenic river debates and the NH2020 calamity doesn't have to be repeated. Those efforts don't have to be the model for dealing with sensitive environmental issues in Nevada County. There is an alternative, and the citizens of Nevada County who participated in river planning clearly showed how it works.

The writer points out that local elected officials did not participate in the process, which made it more citizen oriented. I was not involved in this citizens committee, but I did play a role in trying to get the NH2020 program to be a balanced process, where all stake holders could be heard. Izzy Martin and her environmentalist fellow travelers on the Board of Supervisors insisted on controlling the process, by stacking theNH2020 Citizens Review Council with individuals that reflected their views.

It sounds like the South Yuba River Comprehensive Management Plan committee reflected the opinion of all stake holders. Kudos to the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management Folsom Field Office for producing a plan that truly reflects a community vison for the South fork of the Yuba River.

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