Supervisors, Forest Reps Seek Common Ground

From this story in the Trinity Journal.

An excerpt..

Collaborative Working Group

The final topic was how to form a collaborative working group, possibly using other successful models such as the steering committee providing advice on projects involving the Weaverville Community Forest or the Resource Advisory Committee that prioritizes funding for forest health projects.

Representatives from the Resource Conservation District and the Trinity River Watershed Center in Hayfork voiced support for that direction and Sup. Judy Morris said she believes a formal “government to government structure would help all parties involved. It would be helpful when we come to those appeal issues that really hang us up. That’s the elephant in the room.”

Sup. Jaegel said he agrees that having a board-authorized collaborative group “is extremely important and would make us a lot more competitive when it comes to limited funding.”

Morris said she believes evaluating successful models of other collaborative groups “is the next step. If they are involved in planning projects at the outset, they can support you when it comes to appeal. And funding goes to areas where there’s a working model going on. If there is conflict, you can kiss the money goodbye. Those are things we aren’t getting now — the funding and the stakeholder wraparound on some of your projects.”

Deputy Forest Supervisor for the Six Rivers Merv George said “we have listened and understand the concerns loud and clear. Working together just makes sense and you have our commitment. It is all our families and friends who are impacted by what happens on the forest. We want everyone to be safe and the key is sitting down to plan projects that meet the needs of communities we serve. You have our commitment to do that.”

Deputy Forest Supervisor Alan Olson from the Shasta-Trinity said “we’ve been listening since 2006 and we’ve been able to do a number of things in that time frame such as the use of local expertise. We share the objectives, but the pace and scale need to be much larger if we’re going to maintain a resilient forest. We really would like to see a unified commitment from the county as an intervener if we get challenged, and support from the county on some of our projects.”

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