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Dear Editor:

Everyone who reads this letter could easily list several reasons why they enjoy living in Chaffee County: the mountain peaks draped with green carpets of pine and aspen; the sparkling Arkansas River with its boulder-strewn rapids; the green pastures dotted with cattle, antelope, deer and elk; or the virtually endless opportunities for outdoor recreation on our public lands. In short, all the things implied by those painted wooden signs that are strategically placed where all the major roads enter the county, the ones that say, “Now THIS is Colorado.”

But it would be a grave error to assume that those things we all love about our county will always remain the same. Significant changes due to growth, climate and other factors are already influencing the county and will continue to do so. If we want to prevent those changes from having serious detrimental impacts on this place we must act proactively to manage those changes as best we can.

The reality is that proactive action requires funding. That is why I support Ballot Initiative 1A. It’s a small price to pay and has the potential to have significant positive impacts for our communities.

We will need those funds and the additional money they could generate through matching funds grants to ensure that the claim “Now THIS is Colorado” carved into those signs remains true in the decades to come. Help Chaffee County act now to fund some of the actions a lot of other Colorado mountain communities wish they had done when they had the chance years ago. Please join me to vote “Yes” on 1A.

Brad R. Leach
Salida