There may be a debate on what can be done for the climate, but there’s no debate that we must conserve Colorado’s beauty. It’s our responsibility to be proactive stewards of our home. The beauty of Colorado is truly unique, our state is the home to both the world's largest natural hot springs pool located in Glenwood Springs and the world’s deepest hot springs aquifer in Pagosa Springs. We have the world's largest flat-top mountain, Grand Mesa, which is home to various wildlife, distinct geologic features, a national forest, and gorgeous/stunning views. Our Great Sand Dunes National Park is home to the tallest dune in North America. Our farmland is rich, productive, and known worldwide, in fact, the town of Rocky Ford has been dubbed the "melon capital of the world." Our state is home to an astonishing 960 wildlife species, Colorado boasts one of the most diverse and abundant wildlife populations in North America.
In the continental U.S., Colorado holds 75% of the land area above 10,000 feet. There have been many famous songs written about Colorado’s unique terrain, the song Rocky Mountain High was inspired by John Denver’s move to Aspen. Perhaps the most noteworthy song America the Beautiful written by Katherine Lee Bates, was inspired by her views from Pikes Peak. People from all over the world come to take in the unique beauty that is Colorado.
Considering all the aforementioned, we must take our responsibility of stewardship seriously. Well-balanced stewardship policies that help Coloradans live their best lives while concurrently preserving our state’s resources represent the best course of action to be taken. In other words, policies that do no harm must be the chosen path.
We must invest in innovative/smart renewable energies that are reliable. As we search for new sources of energy, we must work with the sources of energy that currently afford our citizenry with the standard of living that they have become accustomed to; we do not want California-style rolling blackouts in Colorado! Why not work with the oil and gas industry to produce our own gas to reduce the energy costs for all Coloradans? I suggest that the two-cent additional fee on every gallon of gas that is set to go into effect in January of 2023 be delayed. In fact, I believe that this tax should never happen. The governor should fight to ensure that you keep more of your hard-earned money by removing all government fees and protecting the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. Instead of increasing fees, why not explore methods/technologies (e.g., reinstating fracking with rigorous safety standards) that increase our state’s oil production while simultaneously reducing our dependence on outside sources? A buy Colorado strategy should be used to support the increase of in-state energy production.
As we continue to invest in research and development for new and efficient sources of energy, we must resist the tendency to rely on energy sources that have drawbacks to their production value and quantity under certain conditions (i.e., low wind speeds and obscurity of the sun). It’s also important that the governor’s office appoint qualified individuals to positions tasked with environmental stewardship. No longer can our state afford partisan cronyism as the selection criteria to fulfill such vital state-wide positions.
The clean-up and maintenance of the forest are necessary for the health and beauty of our state. Unkempt forest lands can lead to dangerous fires and destruction of our forest, indigenous wildlife, and personal property. A comprehensive wildfire mitigation plan would attack this issue using a plethora of tools. For example, logging can be used to reduce the fuels that make fires burn hotter and faster; power companies maintaining and upgrading their electrical infrastructure in high fire risk areas would help protect public safety. As citizens, we too have the responsibility of wildfire prevention practices at home and as we enjoy our state’s awesome outdoors.
Environmental stewardship demands that we adopt smart growth strategies that consider the state’s future water demands in both the rural and urban sectors. Proposed growth and water use policies must respect both senior and junior water rights (i.e., first in time, first in right or the prior appropriation system). Colorado needs an administration that ensures the balance between Municipal, Industrial, and Agricultural use. None of these uses should be allowed to dominate or harm the other two. Colorado is a state that should serve the high-tech corporation the same way it serves the farmer and rancher who also call this beautiful state home. We must demand governmental leadership that strives to make Colorado a state where life is better, richer, and fuller for everyone in all 64 countries, not just a select few. Join us in our fight to preserve our state.