Fisher comments to Steering Committee

September 11, 2013

Ken Fisher Comments during Public Comment Period of the first Steering Committee on Development of a DCL Watershed Management Plan

1. As a member of the GC Forestry Board, I have seen a draft of the DCWS Analysis & Evaluation for Restoration & Conservation of Forest Resources. It is an example of a background document that the SC should have. We were informed that other Offices of DNR were working on similar documents. This raises the concern that other MD State Departments and Agencies [e.g. OAG, MDA, MDE, Education, Taxation and Assessment, etc.]; other DNR Offices [ Fisheries, Wildlife, etc.]; and, County Offices[e.g. Health Dept, Utilities, Economic Development, Sewer & Water, etc.] are also stakeholders who should have input to the SC as a part of the information and data gathering process.

2. In SC discussions of the first public meeting earlier today, no reason was advanced as to why it was so early {Sept 28th or Oct 5th]. I would support the proposed public meeting agenda as suggested by Pete Versteegen; that is, a Workshop” format. The introduction on SC process and the draft list of issues should be handouts given to all attendees; they could then meet in small groups or go the several stations. There are only 23 days until the meeting. The SC and Staff need to mount an intensive PR effort to attract a wider segment of the public. The date that the SC Web site will be publicly available is unclear; thus, the  SC should use the GC Web site as a major information source along with the Republican newspaper. Other communication resources should be used as well. But it would be better to put off the first public meeting until the Sc has a more definite concept of what it wants as public input. The important concept is that the SC needs and wants as much public input as possible if they want the public to support the DCLWS management plan development. A well organized and smoothly run first public meeting will do much to encourage public support.

Barbara Beelar
About the Author
Director Friends of Deep Creek Lake, founded in 2008. Barbara first came to deep creek lake in 1949. Master degrees in Latin American Studies from University of North Carolina and City Planning from MIT.