Working together to protect land | AspenTimes.com

Working together to protect land

Dear Editor:The Board of Directors of the Independence Pass Foundation wish to express their support for the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Program, which has protected over 14,000 acres of ranchland, wildlife habitat and scenic open space since voters first approved the program in 1990. In November, voters will once again have the opportunity to demonstrate their support for the preservation of open space and the development of trails throughout the county. We urge voters to vote “yes” on Referendum 1B.Since Bob Lewis founded the Independence Pass Foundation in 1989, we have worked to maintain and enhance the ecological integrity, natural beauty and safety of the Independence Pass corridor. Along with hundreds of individuals, the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners have made a substantial financial commitment to our work on the Pass through the years. The Foundation shares a common mission with Pitkin County Open Space and Trails. While the benefits of IPF’s work are apparent on the roadsides throughout the Pass corridor, the many accomplishments of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails are evident county-wide.Virtually all of us who have remained or who have settled in the Roaring Fork Valley have done so because of the special environment of the area. For the last 16 years, the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board has undertaken land and trail purchases to preserve the unique qualities of this valley. With the reauthorization of Referendum 1B, they will be able to continue their invaluable mission and also obtain the ability to purchase water rights to conserve Western Slope water. The referendum will additionally enable the Board to purchase mineral, oil and gas rights to protect Pitkin County lands from this type of development.There will be no increase in mill levy with the reauthorization of the program. Please join us in voting yes on Referendum 1B on Tuesday, Nov. 7.King WoodwardPresidentIndependence Pass Foundation