five common themes Five overlapping themes were identified in the development of the Plan that cross through each of the six focus area chapters. These five themes are: economic development, education, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction, governance, and climate adaptation. Economic development was originally designated as a focus area chapter, but was later integrated as a common theme due to its connection to all aspects of the Plan.
1. Economic Development Local economic growth: Grow an innovative local economy and attract the next generation of entrepreneurs, on the foundation of our well-managed natural resources and exceptional quality of life. The North Country economy was and will continue to be built on access to its natural resources and its strategic location providing multiple industrial transport and energy options. Existing large employers, which are located primarily along the historically strategic positions of the St. Lawrence and Champlain valleys, and the regionâ€™s higher education and technical training institutions remain fundamental to the future economic health of the region. In addition to these foundational economic engines, efforts to reduce energy use and provide low-cost, renewable energy sources will retain more dollars in the local economy. Collaboration across the region to increase ride-sharing alternatives and investment in transportation infrastructure systems will reduce transportation costs and better connect workers to jobs and rural residents to much needed services and products.
Clustering development along existing town centers will fill in and create more vibrant downtown areas, a critical component for attracting visitors, businesses, and year-around residents. Nurturing the growing local food economy is already attracting young farmers and artisan food manufacturers to the region, and other innovators are identifying opportunities to create businesses around distribution and processing. Expanding the forestry industry to include biomass production is creating local jobs and investment in research to ensure the sustainable harvesting of our forests. All economic development activity should take into consideration the unique beauty and irreplaceable value of the regionâ€™s natural resources. By ensuring the high quality of our abundant streams and lakes and maintaining the vitality of our vast expanses of forests, these resources will continue to be economic drivers for this region and ensure the viability of its future.
North Country Region Sustainability Plan