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As a community, there are many issues where we don’t always have common agreement. In 10 years living in the Upper Arkansas Valley, however, one universal constant arises – regardless if I am talking to ranchers, landowners, business owners, town residents or visitors. We all love the amazing landscapes, vistas and wildlife of the Valley. It does not matter if you are a fifth-generation native or you moved here in the last year. This is our home. We want healthy land, sweeping scenic view-sheds, clean water, free-roaming wildlife and room to explore these natural spaces.

We have the chance with the election on Nov. 6 to help keep what we love with ballot Issue 1A, “Strengthening Forest Health, Conserving and Supporting Working Ranches and Farms and Rural Landscapes, and Managing the Impacts of Growth.” This measure will raise funds by a small increase in the sales tax (0.25 percent), spread out and supported both by residents and tourists. Funds will be overseen by a citizen advisory committee with final decisions made by our elected county commissioners.

County funding is key in leveraging additional dollars from outside sources. With this small investment in our county, projects for forest health, rural land protections and restoring impacts from growth can bring in $3 to $5 for every local dollar spent. Together we can make a difference.

Vote yes for our future. Vote yes on 1A.

Andrew Mackie

Executive Director

Central Colorado Conservancy