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Chaffee County Commissioners have scheduled a special meeting for 6:00 p.m. Jan. 8 at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds, 10165 CR 120, Poncha Springs to review draft recommendations for administration and governance of ballot measure 1 A, known as the conservation initiative. They are also are looking to receive public input on their implementation plans for the measure, which passed in the Nov. 6 general election.

Ballot measure 1A was called a vote to protect forests, water and working lands and guard against wildfire. While the margin wasn’t large, Chaffee County voters chose to pass 1A; one of the few sales taxes on the ballot they were willing to approve.

The measure’s extensive supporters focused on a simple premise: that the question isn’t whether the county can afford the tax increase, but whether the county’s abundant natural assets are worth protecting.

“Now the work begins,” said Chaffee Commissioner Greg Felt in November 2018, who was so deeply involved in the process that led up to the ballot question that he spent election night at the Chaffee County Clerk’s Office monitoring results and did not leave until he knew 1A had passed. “I feel a personal burden to bear this out – to show folks this is a good idea. That this will work.”

The coalition behind 1A represented a cross section of the county. “The dialogue that Chaffee County had was ground-breaking. I don’t know if there has ever been something that everybody from everywhere has all agreed upon,” said Cindy Williams, President of Central Colorado Conservancy and a key leader of the 1A effort. “It’s so exciting to see the community come together and support something something this – we had the economic development folks, the ranchers, the businesses, the conservationists, the recreation industry coming together.”