ALCS President Re-Appointed to Two Boards
January 18, 2023
ALCS’s president Josh First was recently re-appointed to two boards, the Dauphin County Planning Commission, and the Capital Area Resource Conservation & Development Council.
First has served on the Dauphin County Planning Commission for ten years, and is presently the board secretary.
First previously served on the Cap RC&D board of directors for two two-year terms, then served as an alternate board member for two years, and was recently re-appointed to the board of directors as the Dauphin County representative for another two-year term.
“While land development planning may not be an exciting or even a welcome process in many venues, my approach to my role on the planning commission has always been that we in government service are here to serve the citizenry and the land owner. My job is to help everyone who asks us for help, and to ensure to the best of my ability that citizens, landowners, and taxpayers are treated fairly by their government,” says First, who has served as board secretary for several years.
Of special interest to First has been the local implementation of the federally mandated “rain tax” or stormwater runoff regulations that are mainly focused on the Susquehanna River basin and the counties directly emptying their waterways into the Chesapeake Bay.
“Dauphin County planning staff have done an outstanding job of helping municipalities find their way forward individually and together on these complex stormwater regulations. It is a delicate process, often tough to quantify and place dollar values on, and while I don’t think I have heard of one affected landowner who has been happy about these federal regulations, I also have not heard anyone complain about Dauphin County government’s leadership and professional guidance on implementing them, either,” says First.
“When I worked at the USEPA in Washington, DC, we staff rarely, if ever, considered the practical impacts of our bright ideas on people living, working, raising families outside of the DC Beltway. The federal stormwater runoff and Chesapeake Bay runoff regulations are an example of how small ideas from DC nonetheless have huge impacts on regular working Americans,” said First. “I hope it is eventually shown that the high costs of these stormwater regulations are outweighed by their benefits.”
First complimented Dauphin County’s commissioners Mike Pries, Chad Saylor, and George Hartwick for working together so well, and for placing their confidence in him. First also complimented Capital RC&D.
“For years the Cap RC&D staff have done really what can only be described as an incredible job, doing amazing things on a shoestring budget. In fact, Cap RC&D is so well run that it has become the servicing agent for many other regional non-profits,” says First.
Capital RC&D is involved in cutting edge agricultural and natural resource conservation projects ranging from grass-feeding ruminants to stream bank restoration and improving water quality to quantitatively measuring carbon storage in agricultural and timberland soils.
Longtime executive director Susan Richards recently retired, and Ann Basehore was hired to continue running the organization in the same mold, “lean and unbelievably effective,” says First. “Besides, Ann has a unique qualification for RC&D. Anyone who has been a successful full time goat farmer for twenty years can run any organization,” said First.