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Dear Commissioners,

I am a new resident of Chaffee County, having purchased a home and nine acres in Nathrop last December. I have found Chaffee County to be both beautiful, welcoming and I am very happy that I decided to live here.

One of the primary reasons I chose to relocate to Chaffee County was the presence of the Headwaters Hounds. I have been an avid fox hunter for many years and the fact that a hunt that is recognized by the Masters of Fox Hounds of America is located here was a very important factor, if not the deciding factor, in my decision to relocate here.

Headwaters Hounds epitomizes the love of the country life that all fox hunters share. The breeding, care, training and hunting with both hounds and horses is a practice that goes back to the very roots of our nation. George Washington was an avid fox hunter.

In my humble opinion, any attempt to curtail the operations of the Headwaters Hounds is wrong. Individuals should be free to pursue the agricultural and country life unimpeded by those who find it incompatible with their desires. A horse and hound operation located on 40 acres has very little impact on surrounding landowners. In fact, many landowners welcome the presence of a hunt in their area.

Challenging the existence of the hunt not only impacts the owner of the land and the hounds but also impacts the many members who enjoy riding to the hounds; members who are also property owners and citizens of Chaffee County.

I personally would like to see a change to the barking dog ordinance so that it doesn’t affect those living on farmland or rural areas outside of city limits or residential areas.

The current situation reminds me of people who move next to an airport and then make every effort to shut the airport down because they don’t like airplanes. It is unfair, and to me, constitutes harassment of landowners who are only trying to enjoy the life that their property should allow.

The fact that the complaining neighbors, in this case, have engaged in a social media campaign that consists of lies and libelous statements should be an indication to you of the veracity of the “harmed” party.

It is my hope that you will move to stop any action against the Headwaters Hounds and find a way to prevent this type of harassment from occurring in the future.

Jeffrey A. Johnson