Arizona: Consensus management as “continuity trigger”

A steering group of about 20 has been meeting since early 2008,
discussing how to make forests in northern Arizona more ecologically,
socially and economically sustainable amid growing use and largely
flat government budgets. Called the Community Conversation on
Sustainability, the group of volunteers, environmentalists, motorcycle
riders, government employees, and more, is inviting the public to
weigh in next Saturday.

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The group could act to be a guide for government agencies, which now
often weigh specific proposals, then receive dozens to thousands of
diverging opinions about whatever is proposed.

“It’s a big experiment. We hope it will be the start of discussions of water, onĀ  infrastructure, on … who knows?” said Joe Stringer, deputy supervisor of the Coconino National Forest.

“It will become some sort of a continuity trigger for discussions down the line,” said Nat White, a retired astronomer and a member of the group. Other than discussing sustainability for forests from Williams to Winslow, there is no set topic.

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