29 September 2008

NMBP and the County

Today I spoke with Cheryl Wegner from the County of San Diego about the SDMBA/NMBP and the ideas that I had for how we could work together. I was encouraged that the county is currently in discussions with the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista regarding how to synchronize their volunteer requirements for areas they jointly administer. I thought that they would have had to work out something like this long ago, after all, it's not like any one of them just came into existance.

In any event, I had a great conversation with Cheryl, and she liked the idea of creating a unified training program that included the appropriate information from each of the rangers and land managers concerning their parks.

I was not excited about her statement that some rangers would want patrollers to notify them a day in advance, but I suppose there's nothing wrong with it, after all, I generally know that I'm going to ride some place a day or two before I ride there. I guess my days of truly spontaneous riding are over (or maybe it just seemed like spontaneous riding and it was really just a weekly routine of multiple days riding in the same park). In any event, I guess we can notify the ranger ahead of time if there is going to be a patrol.

The major issue at this point is to get all of the agencies to agree on the same background check rather than requiring a background check for the county as well as each city. That could be costly and time consuming. I offered her the idea of a form which specified where the results were to be sent and that could include all of the appropriate cities, county, state and federal land agencies. Alternatively, we discussed the idea that whatever background check was the most stringent could be adopted and then make the county the source of the information. The county would then notify the viarious cities of the result. This, of course, would put a serious delay in the procedure as agreements were ironed out between the county and each city. I doubt that there will be a fight over which agency gets to claim the volunteer hours, but many things could bog this down.