No mere wish list
The Union referred to the NH 2020 working group recommendations as mere “wish lists,”suggesting that full consideration was not given to the financial impacts to county government. That’s true; it was never the intention of the NH 2020 program that the working groups would comprehensively assess every forwarded recommendation in terms of financial feasibility, as that was not our function. The worst thing you can do when trying to brainstorm a broad range of solutions to identified problems, is to limit creativity by second-guessing whether or not it will be ultimately workable in every sense. Our approach was to agree on problem areas, then pose, formulate consensus regarding, and recommend possible solutions. Given our collective qualifications and the time frame allotted for the working groups, this was all we could reasonably plan for.
The Union cited the example of the unspecified cost of providing a Forest Advisor, who could further the general scope of the accepted recommendations. It is irresponsible to direct the public’s attention to this proposed expenditure without pointing out that it could possibly be offset by facilitation of increased revenues in Timber Preserve Zones, cost savings from improved fire-safe conditions, reduced need for infrastructure extended to rural areas, etc.
A thorough and responsible cost-benefit analysis could be performed at the proper time in the future, during interactions between the Community Advisory Committee, the Board of Supervisors, and any required county departmental assistance. In this way, the people with the proper information and backgrounds can determine how the county’s coffers may be affected.
The public should withhold judgment on NH 2020 in its entirety until this community effort is concluded, recommendations are finalized, and the BOS is able to decide on the final proposed program remaining for consideration. Of course there will be ample opportunity at that time to voice public opinions before any actions are taken. You can thank the current BOS, who obviously support citizen self-governance and involvement, for that.
I do not speak for any other members of the NH 2020 Forest Working Group.
Forest Working Group Member
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