"Before I answered this question I took it upon myself to contact and talk to many different people. Some were in Craig and some were across the state. All had either an expertise or interest in this subject.
What I found were two constant answers.
The first was, commissioners are voted into office to manage the county in which they are elected.
The second was, the people elected are not experts on every aspect of the job they have undertaken.
From these insightful talks, my answer is keep the department of natural resources.
This department has the expertise to help the commissioners make informed decisions on managing one of the largest counties in Colorado. We have to look past today and into tomorrow, and in the long haul this department has the potential to do a huge amount of good for Moffat County.
Mistakes were made in Moffat County ... this was not one of them.
Given the current financial constraints of Moffat County and to the best of my knowledge there currently are no statutory requirements for the county to fund the natural resources department.
Although, this department has its strengths and provides a service, I would hate to see more essential services suffer in order to keeping this department up and running. There are some departments that we just cannot do without, such as the road and bridge department.
Sometimes you have make difficult decisions that are not
After researching what the natural resources department does I would say most definitely the county should fund the department. The department was established to help coordinate the management of Moffat County's public lands. With approximately 60 percent of our county land being public lands and managed federally, I definitely see the importance of a natural resources department.
With the increasing issues on managing public lands and the increased interest on the use of public lands from various groups (from ranchers to wilderness advocates) I feel we need a department that can devote the time and energy to managing these issues and representing the county's best interest on a consistent basis.
We need to be proactive in the management of our county's public lands not reactive.
Moffat County is unique in that much of the public lands are inter mixed or checkered in with the private lands. This requires the cooperation of private land owners, federal agencies and county personnel to devise a plan for access to and management of our public lands. The natural resources department has received both state and national recognition for the county's fire plan. This is an awesome accomplishment.
In addition, two-thirds of the cost of the fire plan was supplied by grant dollars. So, yes I feel that the natural resources department does serve a need in Moffat County. This department ensures the proper management of our public lands.