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PRINEVILLE, OR -- The first of two public hearings will be held Monday evening for Crook County’s latest draft of a Natural Resources Plan. County Judge Seth Crawford says it's necessary to better manage local public lands.

 

Barbara Fontaine worked for the Forest Service for 30 years, and plans to attend the meeting. She worries the plan would jeopardize the county’s relationship with the Forest Service and BLM. "It’s putting forward this inflated idea of coordination that isn’t a real thing. They’re expecting that the county will then have a relationship as ‘government-to-government,’ with the federal agencies that manage public lands."

 

Fontaine is a member of “Citizens in Support of Public Lands” and says the County Court is rushing to vote on the plan. "It’s a pretty important idea and concept, and there hasn’t been broad – or, basically any – public review of the particular policies that are included in the plan." The latest draft wasn’t released to the public until Friday morning, when it was posted to Crook County's website. "People don’t really get a chance to review it; they get three days to review it before the first public meeting." Fontaine admits the latest version is better than previous drafts, but she'd like to see it be fully vetted by the public before it goes up for a vote by the County Court. Click HERE to download the latest draft.
 
She says others are also concerned about about the Political Action Committee that created the plan, and what the document could do. "They have a problem with this small special interest group that’s pushing the plan forward; they have problems with the actual contents of the plan; they have problems with what the county relationship, going forward, might be with the federal agencies that manage the public lands in our county."

 

Monday's public hearing begins at 6:30 p.m.; a second is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday just before the Court is expected to vote. 

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