A group of San Diego County residents concerned about proposed drone testing in the region have formed a group called Back Country Voices.
The group met earlier this month in Julian and scheduled a second meeting, also in Julian, for Dec. 4. The purpose of the public outreach and education meetings is to address drone testing in the back country.
The first meeting was a panel discussion in Julian Library on Nov. 11. The Dec. 4 meeting will be in Julian Town Hall from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
“Residents of San Diego were given very little information and notice about this proposal,” group representative Lisa Elkins said in information sent to the Sentinel. “There were no public forums, no opportunities for public input, nor any venue to voice concerns regarding what’s at stake for testing drones in our county.”
Should we exchange the treasures of our Constitutional rights, safety, privacy and potential environmental hazards, for a testing ground for drones, the group asks?
While drones have proven beneficial for scientific purposes, Americans need to weigh these benefits against the real threat drones bring to the rights we have been granted by the Constitution, Elkins said, adding, “If we allow the government to strip us of our Rights how much farther will they go?”
Attorney Gabriella Rivera with the American Civil Liberties Union will be the keynote speaker at the meeting. ] Joining her will be Dave Patterson from Veterans For Peace and Bill Everett, private pilot and researcher.
“Please join us for this event as we need an informed electorate to help us slow this FAA decision,” said Patterson, a Ramona resident, noting that “in the cloak of darkness, our congressman and county board of supervisors have signed on to a testing area that covers all of Southern California and western Nevada.”
The group’s goal is to get the FAA to slow down on making a decision, “as we feel that the lack of public input and the slight of hand by our elected officials make the decision dubious at best,” said Patterson. “This effort to open our skies to drone testing and integration into our airways does not pass the smell test.”
Saying that informed citizens are the strength of a democracy, Back Country Voices invites the public to its meeting.
For more information, contact Back Country Voices at Box 1777, Julian, CA 92036; 719-671-5981 or firstname.lastname@example.org.