Letter: Bath needs Conservation Commission
City Planner Jim Upham and the persevering group of Bath citizens who volunteered four years of meetings to compile public input and write up the community's long-term vision into a Comprehensive Plan deserve our praise for an outstanding piece of work. Having adopted it, the City Council and the Planning Board should now begin supporting that community vision.
Ken Burns' current MPBN series on our treasured national parks, "America's Best Idea," is itself a model, a national idea with local application. It demonstrates the need for visionary dedicated individuals willing to engage in long-term political-public education to propose and save local areas worthy of preservation; magnanimous donors; like-minded citizens, conservation organizations and land trusts; appointed public committees or commissions, and media. All need to join together and educate elected officials on the dire need for such conservation efforts in their own village, town, city or county.
Burns' series shows how urgent and constant such efforts must be and how delay, whether caused by bureaucracy, or by some treachery of self interest, can work to destroy local treasures needed for the common good.
Every town has local areas worthy of preservation, their own potential "national park," needing community education and public support to save. Specifically, as a Bath property owner, I believe that the Bath City Council should endorse that need by appointing a volunteer Conservation Commission that would be "advocates for the natural environment, for open space, for wetlands and so forth" as Upham and the Comprehensive Plan Committee have recommended (The Forecaster, Sept. 25).
Richard J. Krejsa