looking for ideas

ForestFair forestfair at aol.com
Fri Jan 2 01:05:01 EST 1998

John Krist < jkrist at aol.com> said:

> I have been awarded a fellowship by the Society of Professional Journalists
to research non-confrontational
resolutions of environmental conflicts, and I am inviting suggestions from
members of this group.<


  About a year ago, an agreement was reached among diverse stakeholders in an
environmental standoff that had eluded any agreement for many years in New York
State.  The water supply of the City of New York originates in a large
watershed area in upstate NY, primarily in the Catskills.  Much of the economy
of this area is tied to agriculture, and to tourism.

  NYC was under orders by the Environmental Protection Agency to filter its
water supply, something that would have cost megabucks.   NYC wanted to avoid
this cost.  It attempted instead to impose restrictions on the residents of the
watershed, restrictions that seemed harsh, unreasonable and unfair to many
living and working  in the watershed.   

  After years of conflict filled with suspicion,  charges and countercharges,
all the parties (there were many -- federal, state, city and local
government/officials, environmental organizations, dairy farmers and other
business interests, residents of the watershed and of NYC, and others) involved
resolved the situation with a complex agreement, summarized in a  press release
from the Governor's office at:


  An outcome of the negotiation process was the recognition of active timber
management using best management practices as a desirable use of watershed

  I wouldn't go so far as to say the process was non-confrontational, but there
wasn't any bloodshed that I'm aware of <g>.  I'm not convinced that it's
possible to reach consensus on environmental  conflicts without confrontation. 

ForestFair at aol.com

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