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Similar visions unite forum committee

There is one orange, but two people need it.

One wants it to make orange juice, the other wants its rind for a cooking recipe. But the two people don’t know why the other wants the orange, and the situation becomes contentious. The two people eventually talk to each other and discover they each need a different part of the orange, and realize both their needs can be met without sacrifice.

That type of communication and collaboration is what needs to happen between the members of the Pathway 2007 Forum committee as it works to create a 20-year land and resource management plan for the Lake Tahoe Basin, says the man who will help bridge any rift between committee members.

Dave Ceppos, a senior mediator for the Center for Collaborative Policy, a joint program of California State University, Sacramento, and the University of the Pacific, led discussion Friday at Harveys Lake Tahoe where the Forum conducted its second meeting.

Taking the person out of the issue and instead focusing on their interest is “especially important in a community like this where many of you have had significant interactions with each other,” Ceppos told the 43 members of the Forum, which represents a variety of interest groups inside and outside the basin. “What we should be trying to achieve is making the pie bigger by looking at your needs and everyone else’s at the same time.”

Mike Bradford, who represents tourism business on the forum, said he knows from experience that collaboration can produce more than one result.

“If it’s done right it can create a sense of group … in a way create community, that can be much more beneficial than any plan we can come up with,” Bradford said.

Pathway 2007 will affect the regional plans adopted by four agencies: U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.

During the afternoon session of the Forum meeting, the group worked to create a vision statement for Lake Tahoe.

“I think the one compelling thing that came out of it is that (for such) diverse a group, they had really similar vision statements,” said Julie Regan, spokeswoman for Pathway 2007. “Improve water quality and improve air quality. It was pretty inspiring really.”

For more information about Pathway 2007, call (775) 588-4547 ext. 235 or go to