Green Corner: Issue 1A, Open Lands, Rivers & Trails protects Grand County’s natural beauty | SkyHiDailyNews.com

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Green Corner: Issue 1A, Open Lands, Rivers & Trails protects Grand County’s natural beauty

Grand County is a rare commodity in Colorado these days. We’ve all witnessed the widespread growth on the Front Range. And…it’s coming our way. According to the State Demographer’s Office, the population of Grand County is expected double by 2050. We must act now to ensure that the water, land, and quality of life of this special place that we call home is protected for generations to come.

This November, we have a historic opportunity to preserve the Grand County that we know and love by voting Yes to Issue 1A: Open Lands, Rivers and Trails. A Yes vote will:

Protect our rivers by conserving lands that enhance water resources in the upper Colorado River watershed

Conserve agricultural lands

If passed, Ballot Issue 1A will create an opportunity for the public to be involved in reviewing land and water conservation and trail projects to be funded.

Preserve scenic open spaces, wildlife habitat and wetlands

Maintain trails throughout the county

This countywide measure proposes a 0.3 percent (3/10’s of 1 percent) sales tax over the next ten years, which won’t be collected on prescription drug purchases. With over half (58 percent) of our sales tax revenue coming from visitors, the cost is spread fairly among visitors and residents. The average cost to Grand County households will be about $5/month, not much considering the payoff for our children and grandchildren.

Unlike many other mountain towns in Colorado and across the nation, several non-profit organizations in our county have been working to protect our natural resources and maintain trails without an ongoing source of funding. This measure will help relieve the burden of raising funds, allowing more time to devote to their missions. It will also generate a base to obtain matching grant funds from organizations like Great Outdoors Colorado.

If passed, Ballot Issue 1A will create an opportunity for the public to be involved in reviewing land and water conservation and trail projects to be funded. No more than 5 percent of the funds will be used for administrative purposes, with the remainder available for land and water conservation, and trails in Grand County. A citizen-run Open Lands Advisory Committee will review grant applications and recommend projects to the Board of County Commissioners. And, an independent annual audit will be available for public review, ensuring that Grand County citizens know how the money is spent.

By voting YES, you can join your neighbors in creating a fiscally responsible program that allows Grand County to access its fair share of state monies for open lands. Let’s work together to protect this precious place we call home.