Groups come together for environmental conference

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Elected officials, environmental and energy interests will sit down Monday to talk land management in an invitation-only conference/classroom session.

So why not throw it open to the public?

"We've got to start somewhere," said Jeff Comstock, Moffat County Natural Resources director. "The vocal minority out there is easy to get involved, but the majority of folks keep quiet."

For the approximately 50 invited guest, the three-day crash course is about getting that other half involved in increasingly contentious land management debates, and communicating among themselves.

"Community-Based Partnerships and Ecosystems: Ensuring A Healthy Environment" runs Monday through Wednesday at Shadow Mountain Clubhouse.

"This is about citizen stewardship, where people can have a large hand in federal management," Comstock said. "The people who've lived, worked and recreated here know the land better than the politicians back east."

The series of classes arrives in Craig at the request of Moffat County and the local Bureau of Land Management, according to Jack Donovan, marketing director with the Arizona-based Partnership Series National Training Center, which offers consultancy services to the BLM. The group has organized presentations from several consultants, kicking off Monday with an overview of past land-management conflicts, and their impact on today's debates.

Subsequent classes over Tuesday lead up to a joint problem statement from all involved.

, and an evaluation of how to move forward in a community planning process.

"The idea is give them the tools to do that," Donovan said.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com

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