The Wenatchee World

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Conservation in the long view

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Nothing is automatically good, or bad. That certainly applies to acquisition of private land by government for conservation purposes. Knee-jerk reaction and prejudice may guide our judgment. Short, narrow views can dominate. The long-term impacts are lost or not considered at all, and that is a mistake.

There is hope that everyone can move beyond a narrow and conflict-driven conversation over Fish and Wildlife land acquisitions in Okanogan County. Many residents and the county government for years have been suspicious of conservation land acquisition, or strongly opposed. They are suspicious of state motives and fearful that government purchase of private land will further reduce the tax base in a county already three quarters public land. The Wildlife Department says conservation, including land acquisition and the purchase of conservation easements, is crucial to its mission to preserve and protect wildlife and ecosystems.

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