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Committee diversity sought

Staff reports

GRASS VALLEY – Agriculture, timber and recreation representatives may be added to an open-space committee.

The 11-member Natural Heritage 2020 Community Advisory Committee agreed with their subcommittee to recommend that Nevada County supervisors add three members to their number. The subcommittee studied adding members in response to criticism that some interests were not represented on the panel.

A couple of people wore “No on NH 2020” buttons in the audience of 44 people at the Thursday, April 26 meeting at St. Joseph’s Cultural Center’s hall. In past meetings, dozens of people attended wearing yellow arm bands to protest the open-space program. Grass Valley Police Officer Brandon Cannon was at the hall as part of a new policy that law enforcement will be a presence at NH 2020 meetings, said Ken Roberts, outreach coordinator for the Sierra Business Council.

Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster said he did not anticipate problems, but the open-space program had become controversial and officials “wanted to ensure no issues arise.”

Several people took turns speaking in favor of and against the program. Dan Truman of Nevada City repeated his frustration with not being able to ask questions at public forums held in March, saying the meetings to gather public comment could not properly be called “forums” because they did not allow debate.

Anna Reynolds said she would welcome biologists on the 865 acres her family owns on Bitney Springs Road. Opponents of the program have collected letters from property owners demanding scientists stay off their land.

Dr. John Eaton, a neurosurgeon from Truckee and committee member, asked that someone other than the people who appointed the original committee – county supervisors – choose the three new members.


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