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Sierra Nevada Conservancy representative chosen

David Bunker
Sierra Sun

It all came down to a fish bowl and four business cards.

With a two-year term as the regional representative on the Sierra Nevada Conservancy at stake, El Dorado County Supervisor Helen Baumann’s card was randomly picked first from the fish bowl, in front of all four expectant supervisors. She will serve on the conservancy board, representing El Dorado, Nevada, Placer and Yuba counties.

Robert Weygant, Placer County supervisor, will serve as her alternate.

“It was essentially four county supervisors, each of whom wanted to serve,” said Nevada County Supervisor Ted Owens, one of the four supervisors vying for the position.

The name drawing came after the four supervisors could not reach a decision on who should represent the conservancy subregion, one of six subregions in the sate agency.

“All four supervisors felt passionately about being selected to represent our subregion,” said Barbara Bashall, the executive director of the Nevada County Contractors Association who was on hand at the meeting.

Following a “very, very good dialogue” Bashall said the group resorted to a random selection.

“That seemed like the fairest way to do it,” she said.

Although Owens was lobbying for his own selection, he said the Baumann will represent the region well.

“Her district and our district are very similar,” Owens said.

Baumann’s district stretches north to the mountainous areas around Twin Bridges and Kirkwood Mountain Resort in El Dorado County.

And the randomness of the selection process was fairly refreshing, said Owens.

“There is some benefit to doing it that way,” Owens said. “It removes politics from the situation.”

The supervisors will serve on a rotating basis in this random order: El Dorado, Placer, Yuba and Nevada. Each of the six conservancy subregions are in the process of selecting their representatives.

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy, signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in September, will help fund conservation and recreation efforts in 22 Sierra Nevada counties from the Oregon Border to near Bakersfield.


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