Red Indian Country (Millertown Logging Division)
County Governance Research Proposal
BOARDROOM BATTLE PLANS
With the provincial government action of expropriating the Abitibi Bowater water and timber rights in central Newfoundland there will be a new era of misguided economic development rather than sustainable development of the timber resource. Outfitters and cabin owners will demand wilderness roads be maintained for personal use. A hodge-podge of commercial loggers, are already setting up operations in roadside gravel pits. Amateur sawmills that are not environmentally friendly will operate without the enforcement of regulations by the Department of Natural Resources. Mining operations will continue to operate without respect for the rights of its workforce to live with a community/family lifestyle, which accommodates family values in support of that community. Individual stakeholders and government departments will be in conflict in the promotion of their own agenda without cooperation for sustainable management of resources including the viability of communities preserving a family lifestyle.
Elected federal and provincial governments, with creation of the present system of Zone Boards, ACOA, CBDC, and other government agencies, armed with irrelevant statically data are contacted for advice, when small communities without the tax structure to benefit from economic activity, request funding to expand their infrastructure services to accommodate and benefit from economic activity. Projects fail to be supported in one community because other communities, with a stronger voice of representation on the board may be adversely affected. Their role to assist all communities has evolved into a form of control without democratically elected representation thus illustrating the need for a more diversified and effective municipal county form of governance.
The major obstacle in forming a county governance system in any defined region of Newfoundland would be individual stakeholder resistance. Giving up the power they presently have to influence beneficial decisions to a democratic election process will put stakeholders in protective conflict. Thus the boundary defined in the Red Indian County model includes a minimum of communities, with a well-defined history from 1900 to 2010, under which to conduct a study. This defined area has a diminishing caribou herd under study and the fibre resources of Abitibi Bowater under review. Add to that, one hundred years of water rights and hydro development exploitation by non-resident corporations and government. Include, a new mining venture and mineral exploration along with cabin owners and outfitters. Then there is a long list of transient outdoorsmen who visit the area to hunt, fish, or pick berries, who, camp out in the area for free or use the cabin of friends or relative for an unknown fee. The hidden economic impact.
RED INDIAN COUNTRY STUDY AREA
The definition of Red Indian County is a defined geographical boundary, basically the Millertown logging division of the AND Co., within which to complete a study of the region since the Reid railway was built across the island linking the wilderness with the coastal waterways. To define my interest into a single objective would be as a voice from the wilderness to be included in any collective discussion process on regional governance with research from the defined area outlined including a community forest model. With a municipal county governance pilot project model, evaluate taxation revenues on all economic activity in the defined region including cabin owners and outfitters.
RED INDIAN COUNTY STUDY OBJECTIVES
Create a municipal governance model for the defined region. As a pilot project evaluate taxation methods and revenues that could have been derived from all economic activity of the defined region from 1900 to 2010.
Starting with the historical analysis of economic activity without a community voice or planned management, develop effective guidelines for future planning, define objectives with a formula for stakeholder cooperation.
Create a working governance model of required infrastructure and sustainable resource management plan in partnership with the communities of Millertown, Buchans, Buchans Junction, and Badger town councils as partners. The county governance model would have collectively jurisdiction over development approval requirements by federal and provincial departments.
That working model would define regional county infrastructure jurisdiction guidelines along with community council management jurisdiction.
As the Federation of Municipalities are in the process of preparing a county governance discussion paper and model for release in May of 2011, to have such research completed for review at that time would be a timely project.