Our view: Find the middle ground for everybody’s good
A report expected to be released by the California Department of Fish and Game this January will probably unleash a massive round of hand wringing on both ends of the environmental spectrum.On the left there will those who point to findings in the state report that says hundreds of animal species in California are endangered and that clamps should be tightened on activities that imperil them even further.On the other side there will be those who will argue the findings in the report, saying that listing more animals as endangered or threatened will only mean increased regulations that curtail what land owners can do on their property.It’s an ongoing and familiar debate in which true believers on either side will, unfortunately, probably never find themselves on common ground.For those of us in the Sierra Nevada, however, the report’s conclusions should be enough to knock ideologues of any stripe out of their trenches. Of the 800 animal species in California that face uncertain futures, almost 60 are native to our beloved mountain range.The Fish and Game officials who wrote the report said they hope that publicizing the breadth of the threat to wildlife habitat in the state will spur strategies to save many of the threatened or rare species before it’s too late. They seem to believe that California’s ever-expanding population and animals can coexist.Perhaps that is possible, but it won’t happen until the familiar antagonists in the environmental wars are able to get past their agendas and work toward mutually agreeable outcomes. What is that? The Quincy Library Group is a good example. A diverse group of folks to our north grudgingly came together to, among other things, stabilize their economy, protect the environment and reduce the threat of wildfire. Everyone in the divergent group had their own plans, but eventually agreed to disagree on certain issues but tackle the things upon which they all agreed.We don’t think there are too many people out there who want the wolverine – one of the animals mentioned in the Fish and Game report and Truckee High School’s mascot – to go the way of the grizzly bear.And we don’t think there are too many people out there who believe halting development completely in California is realistic.With the information experts at Fish and Game have collected, and being realistic in what we want as Californians, we believe there is a way to find that common ground. No matter how bumpy the journey, they made it there in Quincy.
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