All of which brings us back to the question posed in the title of this post: Why not apply the GAO’s structural deficit concept and methodology to forested counties and their school systems? At a historical moment when fresh approaches to the issue of the federal government’s obligation to forested counties are called for, the structural deficit concept may provide valuable new insights. The process of applying the concept to forested counties, moreover, should be considerably less complicated than the D.C. calculations. After all, counties and school districts are regular features of the nation’s political geography — and not exotic creations like D.C. Some adjustments may have to be made for the huge expanses of territory – and associated road systems – in forested counties of course. But these should pose little difficulty to GAO analysts who’ve already surmounted the D.C. calculation’s dizzying obstacles.
Indeed, why not take the structural deficit idea a step farther? Why not hold congressional hearings specifically addressing the issue of structural deficits in forested counties and school districts with the decline of federal timber harvests and the sunsetting of SRS? The structural deficit concept may offer a useful new tool for understanding the enduring hardship imposed on forest counties by the presence of the national forest system.
Check out the “about” of the blog “Not Without a Fight”.