Doing the right thing benefits everyone |

Doing the right thing benefits everyone

We have little doubt the Nevada County Board of Supervisors will do the right thing today and support the efforts of the Nevada County Land Trust to improve a half mile of the Litton Trail .

The Land Trust seeks $14,700 from the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District to buy gravel to improve a half mile of the trail from Sierra College to Via Colina, a street that connects with Ridge Road. The trail currently runs from Hughes Road to Sierra College.

The supervisors’ support is nearly a foregone conclusion – and the fact that the Land Trust is doing a good thing in the proper fashion makes it easy to approve.

The good thing: Nearly everyone who lives in Nevada County enjoys outdoor recreation. Trails, particularly trails close to residential areas, will be extensively used. We need today to build a trails network to serve generations to come. Each new subdivision, each new commercial development, further pinches potential routes for trails.

The proper fashion: The Land Trust works in a straightforward way. When it seeks control of land for public purposes, it buys the land or purchases an easement. If the owner doesn’t want to sell, the Land Trust doesn’t force the issue. The Land Trust works largely with donations from the public, and people who care about preservation of open space are making a good decision with their financial support of this group.

It’s important to note, too, that cooperative neighboring landowners are important to the work of the Land Trust in building a trails network in the area.

The initial stretch of trail from Hughes Road to Sierra College Boulevard came into existence largely because the Litton family demonstrated its public spirit.

The stretch of trail to be discussed by the Board of Supervisors today is possible largely because Eskaton Village, which is building a major development in the area, provided an easement for the trail.

To be sure, neighboring businesses may benefit when they provide land for a trail. Does nearby access to a trail for a noontime stroll help lease an office building? Will a retiree be attracted by the opportunity to catch a trail a block or two from home?

Even so, the decision to provide a public benefit first must come from a public spirit. We’re fortunate we live in a place where the public spirit remains vibrantly alive.

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