As operations manager for the Gifford Pinchot Task Force, I found it ironic that in the same issue of Oct. 2, The Columbian covers the gutting of the local Watersheds Stewards program, "County clean water fund axes Watershed Stewards," and also publishes the Associated Press story "Waterkeeper movement thrives from Maine to Nepal" celebrating the thriving national and international Waterkeeper movement. It certainly sounds like the missions for these two organizations are the same, indeed the subhead for the Waterkeeper story trumpets "Stewards strive to protect health of local waterway."
Which one of these stories are we to believe?
Do we believe a $72,000 budget item that engaged over 100 volunteers and reached out to over 90,000 people on clean water and sustainability issues in Clark County is not worth the money (How much are we paying Sen. Don Benton again)? How much would it cost us to clean up just one contaminated water source that was unmonitored?
Or do we believe the story that hails a thriving international body of "Waterkeepers" for protecting our right to "Clean water for drinking swimming and fishing"?
Food for thought for our local county executives and the residents who pay these people to "work" and provide responsible stewardship of our environmental and economic resources.