Resource plan’s shortcomings call for its rejection

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In 2003, our county commissioners adopted the Natural Resources Component Bonner County Comprehensive Plan, a researched, factual document of 175-plus pages with references. The plan is still in effect.

In 2013, the commissioners began a process to create a second Natural Resources document, based on a model used in other places. (It only mentions Lake Pend Oreille once). On Jan 17, 2018, the commissioners took public testimony on a slightly revised draft. Despite being in process for years, and despite the fact it includes 19 pages of federal and state code and case law citations, the contentious draft had not yet undergone legal review at the time of the hearing.

I oppose the draft because it is unclear how it interfaces with the existing 2003 plan. I oppose statements in the craft regarding public land and wilderness areas, the requirement of a county wide ballot for wind or solar power. And I oppose the craft for what is missing: no references to air quality or waste water treatment, no mention of the impacts of railroads and hydroelectric dams on our natural resources. The draft is not tailor made to Bonner County. The majority of the public who spoke also opposed the draft.

Proponents argue the county needs the draft to require federal and state agencies “to coordinate” with the county before those agencies implement laws affecting our natural resources. Why not just add that statement to the existing plan?

JUDY BUTLER

Hope

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