OUR VIEW: GF&P panel shows good character in listening to public inputGood for the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks Commission in deciding that more public input should be sought before the GF&P puts land up for sale.
Good for the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks Commission.
That decision-making panel, made up of unelected South Dakota residents, decided earlier this week that more public input should be sought before the GF&P puts land up for sale.
At present, the commission seeks public comments prior to purchases of land tracts. No public input is sought prior to putting GF&P land up for sale.
According to a report in Tuesday’s Daily Republic, the idea for the new process comes from Chris Hesla, the executive director of the South Dakota Wildlife Federation. Hesla said the commission doesn’t follow the same process for seeking public comment on sales as is used for purchases.
Commission members openly agreed, and decided they will give the new process a whirl.
Said Wildlife Division Director Tony Leif: “That is something we will learn from this. Even though it’s not required (by law), we can certainly do it.”
The way we understand it, Hesla wasn’t an upset constituent demanding a decision in his favor, but instead was a member of the public who wondered if the process can be improved.
There’s a big difference. The former appears often at meetings, and it’s not necessarily wise government to be swayed by impassioned speeches and pleas. The latter is someone who simply wants a fairer, more balanced approach within the system.
It’s good for governmental panels — elected and otherwise — to openly consider advice from the public, and then to put it to use. Not every bit of advice is good, nor is it sound.
Still, it is refreshing to hear a state panel essentially say, “Why not?”