1A will protect Garfield open space | AspenTimes.com

1A will protect Garfield open space

Dear Editor:

As an agricultural-business owner, I strongly urge you to vote for Proposition 1A. The creation and funding of an open-space program in Garfield County is long overdue. The enhancement and protection of our natural beauty, plentiful water and abundant wildlife is a responsibility we all share.

We are lucky to have a great deal of public lands available for us all to use. We hunt, fish, ski and snowmobile in vast areas of public land. In addition, these public lands provide summer range for livestock, making the business of agricultural in Garfield County one of the most important sectors of our economy. The public lands, however, are not suitable or available to sustain agricultural operations year around. This is what 1A is designed to do – help secure the land in the creek and river valleys for hay production and a home for livestock in the winter. Happily, this land also protects wildlife habitat, water, and provides a landscape that is beautiful.

The small $3.25 per month payment for an open-space fund is an investment in a new economy to help diversify the one that is wearing out. This investment secures the resources necessary to build a thriving agricultural and recreation economic future.

Crystal River Meats has grown into a business that supports eight full-time employees and numerous seasonal employees, operating primarily on exactly the type of land that is proposed to be protected by 1A. We run cattle and sheep on lands that are going to be ranch land forever thanks to such groups as Aspen Valley Land Trust and the Colorado Cattleman’s Association Land Trust. We deliver more than 250,000 pounds of healthy, locally raised meat to the community annually, raised on some 2,500 acres of conserved land.

Vote for Proposition 1A and secure land for local food production and jobs. Vote for Proposition 1A to keep our water clean, plentiful, and serving our economy. Proposition 1A is an excellent investment in a prosperous future.

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Jock Jacober

Glenwood Springs