Letter: Purchase of Development Right program protects land in Routt County, provides safe haven for wildlife

I am writing today to urge Routt County voters to vote yes on 1A and support the reauthorization of the Purchase of Development Rights program. Approved by voters in 1996 and again in 2005, the PDR program has been pivotal in protecting nearly 60,000 acres of agricultural lands and open spaces.

Recreation on public lands is on the rise and as we get outdoors love our public lands, we must keep in mind our impacts to wildlife. The PDR program allows Routt County to help people conserve land and provide a safe haven for wildlife.

The pressures on agriculture are very real. Drought, a changing regulatory environment and rising real estate assessments have made it difficult to maintain the family ranch. Working in water resources, I see water rights and well permits being transferred from legacy families to new arrivals at a pace that we’ve never seen before. Until, and unless, we have another funding mechanism to conserve agricultural lands, water resources, and wildlife habitat here in Routt County, we must continue to reauthorize the PDR program. Please join me in voting yes on 1A.

Sonja Macys

Routt County

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