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PRAIRIE: The tragedy analogy

| October 8, 2021 1:00 AM

We are living the parable, “The Tragedy Of The Commons.” That is when we like something, i.e. the Rathdrum Prairie, so much we over use it, abuse it, misuse it, and eventually destroy all that first appealed to us.

After the second World War, everyone wanted to live in California? Remember the song “California Here I Come.” Now people are leaving California complaining that it is too crowded, too costly and over regulated. They complain about the very problems they are bringing here.

We must attack this oncoming deluge from a higher conceptual level than we have in the past. Look at the Rathdrum Prairie as an example. The cities on the prairie must form a joint effort to assess the cost of the new sewer, water, utility, school, roads, etc., of each new house, apartment and building.

These costs must be applied to each building permit before the entity is built. Let growth pay for itself instead of shifting these costs to the present homeowners by increasing property taxes.

There is a “Carrying Capacity” on the aquifer, the prairie, the lakes and the river. How much abuse can these recourses carry before they become polluted? How much development can the prairie carry before we damage our drinking water flowing below in the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer?

The answers require a higher conceptual solution if we are to avoid “The Tragedy Of The Commons.”

LARRY M. BELMONT

Coeur d’Alene

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