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Conservancy bid worthy of support

Nevada City officials and volunteers deserve a thumbs up for their initial efforts to land the Sierra Nevada Conservancy District.

Last week, they distributed copies of a slick booklet that makes the case for Nevada City being the best location for a new state agency that could eventually bring as many as 70 jobs and a payroll of $10 million to its future home.

The impressive 17-page, four-color publication, which has the name of every recipient emblazoned throughout, touts the area’s labor force, telecommunications network, educational opportunities and lifestyle, among other features. It even has pictures of two possible homes for the conservancy, an agency that will be charged with helping preserve the natural beauty of the area, find grants and promote business.



Naturally, there’s considerable competition for an agency that will not only bring quality jobs to an area but could also serve as an economic engine for its host. Auburn, Placerville and Colfax are among the communities vying for this agency’s headquarters.

Nevada City recognizes this and is doing its best to get out of the gates first. Mayor Conley Weaver said it took about a year to put the publication together, and it didn’t cost the city a cent, thanks to the efforts of a number of volunteers.




While you can never start working too soon when in a competitive process, the Nevada City team is clearly and wisely way ahead in this endeavor. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill last year that created the conservancy. Now, the state is in the process of selecting 13 board members who will select a home for the agency. Four members still need to be appointed.

A series of meetings will follow, and those on the board can expect to be heavily lobbied. And while we’d like to believe that a community will be selected entirely on its merits, we have to be realistic and expect that politics and presentation will go a long way toward winning the conservancy.

This professional and polished publication is a good first step in what will likely be a process that takes as long as a year. Nevada City officials and supporters have clearly demonstrated with their booklet that they are serious players in this process and committed to doing whatever it takes to convince board members.

But, as in all cases of this magnitude, they need help.

First, we’d like to see the Grass Valley City Council and the Nevada County Board of Supervisors pass resolutions that throw their support behind Nevada City’s bid for the conservancy’s headquarters. Private citizens and business groups can lend their support by urging Sen. Sam Aanestad to lobby the board for Nevada City.

This agency would benefit the entire area, so let’s all work together on this.


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