By Jennifer Grimes
Triplicate staff writer
After two and a-half years serving on the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors, Chuck Blackburn said yesterday hes got the fever and wants more.
Blackburn formally announced he is in the running for a second term. And he said hes doing it for the same reasons as the first time.
I retired from teaching and coaching seven years ago, and I was looking for ways to get involved and make a difference in the community, Blackburn said.
Right at that point, the political bug bit him when it landed in his own backyard.
When the department of Fish and Game tried to close the section of river behind his home to fishing, Blackburn led a coalition of neighbors to fight it.
That got my hackles up, and I got on my high-horse with the paper and with Fish and Game and took my concerns to the Board of Supervisors then, he said.
With that boards support, Blackburn won his fight with Fish and Game and helped create what is now known as the local Fish and Game Advisory Commission made up of local citizens.
It got me thinking about political agencies and how they operate. And I thought maybe thered be something I could do to make a difference, he said.
Blackburn represents District 3, which includes Smith River, Hiouchi, Gasquet, Big Flat and Low Divide.
He has worked closely with the Elk Valley Rancheria, Smith River Rancheria and prides himself on his work regarding the areas natural resources, including Rowdy Creek flood control and fish enhancement project and re-opening fishing at the mouth of the Klamath River.
My priorities are in this community and our traditions and cultures have to mean something. Its our lifeblood and our heart, Blackburn said.
But he stressed it takes more than one person to get the job of making a positive difference done. Pointing to recent collaborations and the new spirit of cooperation between the city, the county and the harbor district, Blackburn said he likes the direction local politics are going.
On his off-time, Blackburn is a broadcaster of Del Norte High School football games on KPOD radio. Its a job hes enjoyed for 18 years and one he says keeps him in touch with the communitys children and families.