'The concept is simple'

 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.

Earl McKinney, a retired BLM range conservationist, was an early participant in the Trout Creek Mountain Working Group. He is based in Carson City, Nev.

"Riparian areas are super simple to recover. All you have to do is let them regrow a little bit. And within a very short number of years, everybody is impressed and thinks you are a genius. It's simple. There may be some hard work in some cases. But the concept is simple.

"Homo sapiens have only two modes. One is the dumb mode - resisting change - which they operate in most of the time. And the smart mode kicks in when the manure hits the fan.

"One common denominator to all of this is having folks with the drive to make things come together - the Doc and Connie Hatfields of the world. They are in short supply. It takes somebody to grab a problem by the throat, and it's never going to be a bureaucrat. They are not able to do it from the inside. It takes an outside "something" to cause these agencies to realize it's risky not to participate."