Here is Joe's:
I really like this Oscar Wilde quote: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” This quote suggests that there is much value in both moderation and the moderation of moderation, which, when you think about it, ironically supports living in the extremes occasionally.
In other words, while a lot of gray may be good, a little black and a little white every now and then is good as well.
Applying this maxim to natural resource management decision making, there should be 1) places that are a mix of the protected and the developed; 2) places that are quite developed and 3) other places that are mostly protected. And we have that here in the Adirondacks. We have our Lake Placids and our Siamese Ponds Wildernesses and places in between.
As we argue over the degree or lack of moderation that should take place in the Boreas, as we wrestle over our positions about the Boreas lands classification, I encourage us to more consider the interests that underlie our positions so that we can better explore the extent to which our interests more overlap than diverge. We should be wary of using hard line negotiating techniques in the court of public opinion that pollute the discourse over the Boreas because while rhetoric can persuade, it can also poison.
We need public participation processes that more promote conversation, not conversion.
I suggest that we need to better acknowledge the perspectives and the wants and needs of the other because by doing so, we recognize the other. The value of recognizing the other cannot be overstated. Recognizing does not mean agreeing. Recognizing means respecting.
We need to do nuance better and avoid gross generalizations. What we say, and how we say it, matters.
At the end of the day, when the dust settles and the Boreas classification decision is made, when the tug of war is over, we need to find ourselves at the same end of the rope, not its opposing ends, so that we can pull together in the same direction, to drag our collective burdens from the domain of problems to the domain of solutions. Our collective burdens consist of many challenges, including the need for places that have ecological integrity and places that provide opportunities for people to experience naturalness and solitude. These challenges also include the need to ensure the livability and viability of the communities inside the Blue Line that contribute so much to the uniqueness and character of the Adirondacks.
We need to consider our communities and our protected natural areas more as complements and less as oppositional forces.
As this decision process continues to unfold, I encourage us all to conduct ourselves in a manner that considers others’ perspectives, a manner that acknowledges and recognizes and respects the other so that when the decision is said and done, we are able to come together and get about the business of maximizing the probability of a long-standing favorable outcome for the Adirondack Experiment, whereby we realize and demonstrate that humans can in fact protect nature while living in and with nature. I want to remind us all that the ultimate outcome of the ongoing Adirondack experiment may possibly be determined less by our relationship with nature in the Park and, rather, more by our relationships with each other, person to person, group to group. Let’s not lose sight of this.