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County works to improve coordination with feds
ENTERPRISE — A decades-long effort to refine relations between Wallowa County and the federal government continues through work on the Lower Joseph Creek environmental impact statement.
Last week, the county’s Natural Resource Advisory Committee presented the board of commissioners with the 461-page “Lower Joseph Creek Watershed Assessment” on which the environmental impact statement is based. The commissioners scheduled two hearings, July 21 and Aug. 4, to allow the public to review and comment on the document before adopting it as part of the county’s land use plan.
“By adding this to our plan it tells the U.S. Forest Service they must coordinate with us,” said John Williams, who is a member of the advisory committee.
Coordinating with various agencies is an on-going effort. Commissioner Susan Roberts said in 2009 she attended a workshop with Fred Kelly Grant, a lawyer and expert in government-to-government coordination.
“I took with me papers from Wallowa County covering cooperation and coordination — used simultaneously — invoking our right in coming to agreements,” Roberts said.
She said the next month Hayward attended the same workshop.
“We were told we had exactly what we needed,” Roberts said.
Hayward said despite sending requests through the years, he sees a need to keep in front of the agencies all the time.
For the full story, see Wednesday's issue of The Observer