Find common ground.
It's so simple.
Focus on those things we have in common. Those things we already agree on.
That was the message former U.S. Forest Chief Mike Dombeck had for a small gathering at the Lincoln County Campus on Tuesday afternoon.
Come together, Dombeck said, and our vision for the national forest will become a reality.
It's not a new message. We've heard it before. We probably first heard it in kindergarten. Or we should have.
Instead, as Russ Hudson said, we go out of our way to find things to fight about. Not too long ago I was trying to find out why one individual seemed so determined to shoot down a project and I learned it was because of a disagreement that evolved more than 20 years ago on an entirely different project.
Good golly folks, get over it. People change. Besides, here in Lincoln County there aren't enough of us to start with so we can't afford to begin isolating each other from the process because we don't like the other guy's ideas. Agree to disagree. It's not that big a deal. Move on and when the majority of the effort is done we can return to the disagreements.
We can accomplish anything if we work together. When we splinter apart, it does push the issue to the decision-makers above us, just like Dombeck said.
Sometimes I think we've made the disagreement an art form, right behind the whining that follows the decision-making that happens without our participation because we couldn't sit down and make a decision.
And as Dombeck said, everybody has to be welcome at the table. That's another masterpiece we like to paint: trying to exclude people from the discussion.
We can take control by working together or we can continue to feel like victims of the decision-makers in Helena or Washington, D.C.
It's our choice, if we have the courage to take that step. - Roger Morris