First, a couple of caveats. I am not picking on Guy here.. he deserves a lot of credit for putting up with us on this blog (!!!). Second, this idea is not original to me, as I have heard it from many folks about many different projects
The simple question was “if one of the points of the complaint was that the “public was excluded” from decision making, then why is it OK for the same group who makes the complaint to participate in closed-door settlement discussions? Does some combo of DOJ lawyers and NGO lawyers somehow de facto represent the public? But how could that be since the people who actually read the “real” public comments are not in the room? Yes, everyone knows that is how the “system works.”
Anyway, again, not to pick on Guy, this last couple of days just illustrates my point.
Guy said “I don’t think it is either hype or hyperbole to say that it has been exempted from public analysis and environmental review (realizing that full and adequate “environmental review” includes public disclosure, oversight, commentary, and interaction)” here.
I ask about his views on amicus brief.
He can’t talk to us (the public?) about these issues.
The idea is that 1) it’s really really important to have public dialogue and interaction (which I agree with, and apparently the people on the two salvage projects did too)
But 2) if it’s so important why is it that the people who actually read the public comments are often (or always) left out of the room when the settlement is reached (the decision is actually being made?)
Maybe I’m too simple of a person, but the idea of public involvement, and how it ends up being implemented, seem to be in conflict to me. And to some others working on the FS side, as well as people working with the FS (cooperators or collaborators), with whom I have spoken. Now I know that people will never agree at the end of the day, but it seems to me, that there is something valuable about a person who has been at the public meetings and read the comments(or has read the summaries of staff) and who writes a ROD with a rationale, seems like it’s easier for the public to understand than folks in a closed room settling and writing up terms.
In 2011, if you were on this blog then, you may recall a similar dialogue I posted with Mr. Garrity. Here’s the link.