Newton’s first law of motion states that a body at rest will remain at rest, and conversely, a body in motion will continue its motion, unless the subject is acted upon by an external force.
This definition also doubles as the law of inertia. In other words, absent some impetus, bodies want to keep on doing whatever they have been doing. Why change what works?
It is a question we have been thinking about as we watch the struggles of our many friends who are involved in one or the other of the five conservation groups considering merging into one regional organization.
Three of the five, the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association, the Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association, and Hidden Valley Nature Center, have already voted in favor of the question.
The other two, the Pemaquid Watershed Association and the Sheepscot Wellspring Land Alliance, will consider the question Aug. 31 and Sept. 20, respectively
We note our publisher is a member of the Pemaquid Watershed Association Board of Directors. He has his own feelings about the merger; everybody involved with the question does.
Proponents of the merger say one larger organization can make it easier to achieve objectives, coordinate volunteers, and pursue funding sources.
It will also allow the professional staff members to specialize in their respective areas of expertise.
Proponents of not merging cite their organizations’ respective histories, their specific connections to the local communities, and the intimacy and immediacy of a local concern protecting a local landmark, all of which could go away in the scope of a larger organization.
They are both right. No matter what path they choose, there will be pluses and minuses. Some things will work better, some will not. Some new connections on a state or regional level will be forged while some of the more intimate connections to the local communities could be lost.
That is why this question is so vexing. There isn’t one simple solution and the manner in which the question has been presented precludes significant consideration of other possibilities.
We do know this: this work is important and it must go on, which is why choosing to do nothing is also not a long-term option.