"When they had the mill, this town was jumping," said homeowner Paula Kleinhans. "As soon as the mill closed down, people moved, they lost their jobs, and now there are no children here. It really needs industry here."So we have one homeowner who wants industry. Let's pretend that she represents the whole town -- everyone wants industry. First of all, what is McCloud's comparative advantage? Water and timber. Fine. Nature? Probably. Can water and timber interfere with Nature? You bet. So, McCloud wants sustainable water, timber and Nature. How to get that? Maximize value of each of those resources. Don't pulp trees for paper -- make furniture. Don't bottle water for Costco -- start a spa, bottle branded spring water, sell it to Chez Panisse or Nobu. Turn nature into an attraction for B&Bs, hikers, spirit guides, etc. Do you really want a big plant with lots of banging and noise. Is industrial pollution good (600 trucks/day) for kids?
Bottom Line: McCloud has lots of resources, and they are selling out too cheap and too fast. If McCloud wants to prosper from those resources (instead of being bent over), it needs to add value. Real economic development takes time (start small, try many things, fail often), but the bigger payoff will last for decades.