We’re heading into election season, so the verbiage weather report is for lots of hype, blame, castigation and name-calling. Assuming the worst of the Other and smoky shading of the truth. Not my favorite time, however…
We have an opportunity to develop ideas and proposals that we think would be uniting.. because, after all, one candidate said that that uniting the country is a goal. We can see plenty of unity around federal lands, even on this site, although media coverage and we tend to focus on the controversial.
I’d like to go back to Dave Freudenthal’s 2010 letter to then Interior Secretary Salazar.
Unfortunately, Washington, D.C. seems to go from pillar to post to placate what is perceived as a key constituency. I only half-heartedly joke with those in industry that, during the prior administration, their names were chiseled above the chairs outside the office of the Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals. With the changes announced yesterday, I fear that we are merely swapping the names above those same chairs to environmental interests, giving them a stranglehold on an already cumbersome process.
Can you think of mechanisms that might avoid the “pillar to post-iness” of swapping out Administrations? They have the difficult task of representing everyone, while favoring their friends.
Ted Zukoski brought up the concept of accountability via legal means earlier this week. We could broaden the discussion to “accountability to whom” and “for what”? What mechanisms have been tried (e.g. multi-party monitoring) and have they been successful?
There’s also building trust. One way that was thought about was to develop third-party certification procedures or some milder and less expensive form of that. Or perhaps how to spend GAOA windfalls, an advisory committee for that?
Fortunately here you can be in the weeds if that’s your preferred habitat. So ideas like the People’s Data- making it more easily available, public access to PALs and so on, would also fit.
For those of you into metrics, it’s interesting to think about how you would measure unifying efforts in a way that could be applied to any Administration. Not that we would think of something, but it might show the different ways we think about it.
So I’m encouraging posts which you can send to me which contain:
1. Proposals, ideas, processes, or structures that you think would be unifying.
2. Examples of something unifying that has worked in practice and you would like to see more of.
3. Possible metrics
There are plenty of folks and organizations here and in other countries who do great work so feel free to steal ideas, proposals or examples from someone else. The only requirement is that you explain why you think it makes sense and why you think it’s unifying. I’m encouraging folks to write guest posts with the links and your thinking, and less preferred would be a comment below.
I’d like to stick to “things to do” and not “things not to do” which tends to descend into a spiral of negativity. I think there’s enough of that out there right now.