In Grand County, what do you think is worth saving? |

In Grand County, what do you think is worth saving?

Behind my house, there is dirt road that splits its way through two meadows.

It is perfect for an end-of-the-day, get-lost-in-my-thoughts walk. Every night that I can, I walk that road and let the breeze empty my mind. I listen to the frogs, the birds, the rushing water. I watch the sun disappear behind the mountains and I get something a friend calls “pre-nostalgia.”

I begin to long for something that has not yet disappeared.

I know that those meadows and dirt road and perfect views have been purchased.

And small squares have been drawn somewhere on a map in someone’s office. And someday, my mind-clearing walk will be a series of driveways.

In the end, there is nothing that can be done to stop the inevitable change of that landscape. And, in the end, developers have every right to purchase land from willing sellers to change and grow the community according to their vision.

But my pre-nostalgia steers my thoughts to all the change that is on the horizon for Grand County and what it is that will be lost if we do not hold on tight to the things we value.

This week, reporter Tonya Bina and I sat down and planned a series of articles that will publish this summer ” accompanied by the photography of Byron Hetzler. The working title for the series is “Conservation in the time of change ” saving what is important.”

I believe this is the perfect time to explore this concept as residents meet in various communities to discuss the County Master Plan.

We are still in the planning phase of the series, but we have broken it down into four possible articles.

In the first, we want to take a look at the culture of Grand County, because preservation is about more than putting an easement on a piece of land. All the open space in the world is meaningless if we have lost our culture.

Everyone loves to drive down the highway and see cows and horses and barns and piles of fresh hay, but how hard are the owners of that properties working to hold on to that lifestyle? How much longer will we have that view from our windshield?

In the second article, we will look at the preservation of land and natural resources ” like water. We will look at what has been saved and what we need to save. We will explore water rights ” the history of water in Grand County and its future.

In the third article, we want to visit similar Colorado communities who are steps ahead of us in growth. We will look at their successes and failures and we will ask for their advice.

We will end this series in much the same way we ended our series earlier this year about the health care crisis ” by hosting a community roundtable. We want the faces and voices of Grand County in one room to discuss ” for publication in the newspaper ” the direction of this community.

Our goal is to have this series researched and written by the end of July. Until then, we would like your help. We especially want to hear from people who have lived in this county for generations ” who have watched it change and changed with it. Tell us ” what is important? What is worth saving?

To get involved in this series, contact reporter Tonya Bina at (970) 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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