Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BBQ Diplomacy and County Coordination

Here at HQ, riders often bring up the topic of county coordination and cooperating agency status as it relates to Forest Service and BLM travel and land-use planning. HQ is acutely aware they are different but related terms but for the purpose of this discussion that is distinction without a difference.

The following article from the Cortez Journal does a pretty good job of explaining the terminology and differences but at the end of the day correctly highlights the fact that local government cannot dictate a course of action to the federal government.

Cortez Journal Article on County Coordination

Rather than being a legal or administrative club that local officials can use to beat the federal government into submission, The General believes that coordination is a valuable planning tool that allows the federal government to include and engage county commissioners and other stakeholders in what should be a genuine and sincere collaborative process.

In June, The General had the privilege to witness just such an effort on the Inyo NF where that agency was in an apparently successful planning partnership with local government, businesses, tourism, and other agencies.

Blog on the Inyo Effort and BBQ Diplomacy

HQ believes the land-use planning ball is in the agency’s court. Will FS and BLM leadership review a number of hot spots in CA (Shasta T, Clear Creek, etc.) and work to engage disenfranchised stakeholders? Or, will they continue to poke their administrative finger in the eyes of what should be their planning partners?

Can anyone smell a county/fed BBQ? Let HQ know and it will bring the chips!

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