NH 2020 rep says enough with the ‘noise’ | TheUnion.com

NH 2020 rep says enough with the ‘noise’

NH 2020 Project Coordinator Steve Enos wants people to quit screaming and wade into the process.

Enos made his comments Thursday night when two citizens’ groups made recommendations to the (NH 2020) Natural Heritage 2020 Community Advisory Committee.

“I’m confident that anyone who takes the time to read the recommendations will see that they’re about protecting property rights and providing incentives to safeguard and enhance natural resources in Nevada County,” Enos said.

Instead of yelling to stop the NH 2020 process, Enos implored the opposition to bring constructive suggestions to the table rather than, “noise.”

“You either participate or stand across the street and throw rocks,” Enos said. “The NH 2020 process is about public participation. It empowers the public, but takes nothing.”

The two citizens’ groups are studying how forestry and recreation fit with Nevada County’s long-term planning. They issued reports Thursday night.

When combined, the two reports include more than 80 recommendations for the future of recreation and forestry in Nevada County with respect to both community and individual interests, said Enos.

“It’s not an either-or equation,” Enos said. “It’s an integrative approach to balancing our assets with our needs and planning for the next 20 years and the next 50,000 people.”

A recommendation from the forestry report, for example, promotes small scale logging on private parcels, which provides economic benefits for property owners and increased fire safety for the community, Enos said.

The forestry report also includes recommendations for mining and mineral extraction.

“Mining by nature is often a noisy industrial use,” said Betty Simpson, a member of the Mining and Resource Extraction Subcommittee.

While the state generally regulates mining operations, counties have the power to control adjoining uses to protect the public from potential conflicts, Simpson said.

A recommendation from the forestry report requires proponents of mining projects to purchase adjoining lands for use as open space buffers, but also provides financial incentives to acquire additional land for buffers.

“The theme of NH 2020 is to give people good, sound economic reasons to protect and enhance Nevada County’s natural resources,” Enos said.

Recommendations from the forestry and recreation working groups are preliminary and “by no means set in stone,” said Chauncey Poston, chairman of the Community Advisory Committee.

CAC will hold workshops to fully discuss recommendations of the two working groups in February. The forestry workshop is scheduled for Feb. 15 and the recreation workshop for Feb. 25.

The agricultural working group – the third piece of the NH 2020 planning puzzle – will present its report and recommendations Feb. 28.

In April, the recommendations will be sent to the Board of Supervisors for feedback and then back to the CAC for revisions.

The CAC’s final report on the recommendations from the three working groups will go to the Board of Supervisors in the Fall of 2002.

“The recommendations will go to the Board of Supervisors, but citizens will make the final decision when the NH 2020 ballot measure goes to vote (in 2003),” Enos said.

Drew Bedwell, founder of Protect Your Property Rights, an organization which opposes NH 2020, could not be reached for comment on Friday.

u Recommendations from the forestry and recreation working groups can be accessed at http://www.nh2020.org

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