Time to conclude NH 2020 program | TheUnion.com

Time to conclude NH 2020 program

At the April 25 meeting of the Natural Heritage 2020 (NH 2020) Community Advisory Committee, county staff reported that substantially more time and money will be needed to complete the original NH 2020 workplan. These tasks would require at least six more months and tens of thousands of additional dollars at a time of dwindling public resources.

I am writing to inform you that I cannot support spending additional time and money on NH 2020, and I will oppose any recommendation to expand its timeline and budget.

NH 2020 was designed to involve the public in planning for our future, and it has certainly done so. In the last eighteen months, dozens of volunteers representing business, agriculture and conservation groups have agreed on ways Nevada County can improve fire safety, protect its farms and ranches from the pressures of development, protect our natural environment, and reduce regulations on landowners. I commend them for their work.

Unfortunately, consensus takes time; in this case, too much time and at too much cost. Instead of building public consensus, NH 2020 has become a distraction at a time when we should be pulling together to confront urgent issues such as the state budget crisis, health care and growth. The time has come to bring NH 2020 to a quick and logical conclusion.

At the next Board of Supervisors meeting I will ask the board to amend the NH 2020 workplan to end NH 2020 and disband the Community Advisory Committee upon completion of their recommendations on recreation, forestry, and agriculture. This will honor our commitment to these volunteers, and provide the public a tangible result from their work. I believe this can be accomplished by July 31, 2002.

I cannot ask our volunteers to give more time to NH 2020, I cannot commit additional taxpayer money to this program, and – most importantly – I cannot ask the community to endure any longer the distraction NH 2020 has become.

Elizabeth Martin

Nevada County Supervisor

Penn Valley

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