Quality people, quality work

Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Please allow me to comment on the proposed transfer of habitat permitting responsibilities from the Department of Fish and Game to the Department of Natural Resources.

Some people might prefer - in isolation - for habitat permitting decisions to be made in one agency vs. another, but the governor has the responsibility to coordinate all agency functions. More than habitat must be considered in any permitting process. There are water, air, and soil quality, vegetation, hydrology, land use, historical, and many others disciplines to be considered. We need effective coordination between different government disciplines to efficiently consider potential state permits. The governor is responsible for keeping all aspects of the administration functioning together to best provide state oversight of development proposals; i.e., permitting. If efficiencies can be found to improve the permitting process, they should be implemented.

With each incoming administration some changes are to be expected. By way of analogy, consider the new federal department of Homeland Security. Its creation is the largest reorganization of the federal government in a generation. That reorganization is designed to deliver improved service to the country when it is so obviously needed. The change is a good thing. I believe the change of Habitat Division from ADFG to ADNR is also a good thing. It will provide better service at a time when it is needed.

Quality people do quality work. Let's assist them by providing a more coordinated agency structure.

Frank Bergstrom

Juneau



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