It is easy to understand why people travel from around the world to partake in the sublime beauty of this area. Rugged nature steeped in pure air and water, make our county a memorable experience. If elected to serve as your County Commissioner, I will strive to preserve and protect these qualities that we hold so dear. I will proactively work with local groups to designate and defend wilderness areas. The preservation of wilderness is a vanishing opportunity that we cannot afford to overlook.
I have heard it said that there is too much focus on the environment and not enough on the local economy. This is nonsense. In a county driven by tourism, the environment is the economy. The conservation of this resource, more precious than gold, is essential to our economic survival. People in San Miguel County need jobs. For many reasons, there is no better economic alternative to extractive industries, than the county wide promotion of environmentally responsible tourism. Increased county wide tourist activity could allow west end residents to work where they live and consequently reduce their carbon footprints. Marketing our county to a wide cross section of environmentally conscientious groups like photographers, bird watchers, wildlife enthusiasts. hunters, hikers, bikers and equestrians, serves as a source of revenue while it provides further incentive to preserve the rugged and pristine qualities of our home. A small investment into pamphlets, newspaper articles and targeted magazine ads could bring in much needed revenue across the County. Working with state and local marketing efforts a little money could go a long way. In an exhaustive search of the County website, I could find virtually no reasons why a prospective tourist would want to come to our county. The nearly complete lack of county initiated tourist promotion in a county dependent on tourism, is astonishing. The time has come for County government to put it’s best foot forward, to increase employment opportunities and realize the potential of a resource that can enrich our economy without being diminished.
– Dan Chancellor, Democratic Candidate for District 3 Commissioner