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Help shape Natural Heritage 2020

Guest Column by John Eaton

Most of us moved here because of the beauty, open space, clean air and water and recreational opportunities that the region provides.

Truckee will be growing dramatically in the next 20 years. We have the challenge of accommodating this growth while preserving the rural character both we and the new home owners want.

Natural Heritage 2020 (NH2020) is a process initiated by Nevada County to determine what natural resources currently exist, and what need to be protected. A more complete description of Natural Heritage 2020 was published in last week’s Sierra Sun.

An important part of this process is public input – early and often. A Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) is charged with making recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, but is still in the process of learning and organizing. They will be getting input from a variety of sources, including a Scientific Advisory Committee.

An extremely important source of information will be a series of public forums at five sites throughout the county in March, with subsequent forums tentatively scheduled for Sept. 2001, January 2002, and June 2002. Information from these sources will be considered by the CAC, which will then generate draft policies, to be reviewed by the public at the next forum. The process is a series of feedback loops to get the best recommendations possible.

The first public forum in Truckee will be held at the Recreation Center at 6:30 p.m. on March 13.

It begins with a presentation outlining the history and nature of what Natural Heritage 2020 is, as well as addressing frequently asked questions about what 2020 is not. There will be a break during which participants can submit written questions. After the break, the audience will be divided into smaller groups to respond to questions developed by CAC. If the audience is too large for small groups your input will be obtained in other ways. After the small groups have finished, the group leaders will summarize their results, then as many as possible of the previously submitted questions will be answered.

Other forms of public input are available: there is always time for public comment at CAC and SAC meetings. About a third of the meetings will be held in Truckee.

If you want to be on the mailing list for schedules and agendas you can contact Ken Timmer at SBC, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City 95959.

In April, there will also be working groups formed to consider working landscapes, public safety, and recreation.

The working groups will contain members of the CAC as well as members of the public, so if you want to participate in these, please contact Ken.

We are just embarking on an important and exciting process. We need your help to be sure that it is done right; I hope you will be able to participate, beginning with the forum at the Rec Center Tuesday, March 13.

John Eaton is a 14-year resident of Truckee and a member of the Community Advisory Committee for Natural Heritage 2020.


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