As a high school humanities teacher in Durango, I’m intimately aware of the role adults play in inspiring the values and character of our youths. As role models in our communities, it’s our responsibility to lead by example and work together with respect and kindness, despite our differences, so the young people in our lives might do the same. That is why I’m thrilled to see that our community-supported Hermosa Creek bill has passed through Congress and will soon become law. Hermosa Creek is a stunning place worthy of protection in its own right, but it’s the process by which we’ve protected it that has been most impressive to me.
Broad support from a diverse group of local stakeholders, bipartisan leadership in Congress and perseverance is how we turned six years of negotiations and a community-supported bill into law. Without any one of these components, permanent protections for the area wouldn’t have been possible. What a great story to be able to share with students here in the Southwest – that when we put forth the effort to work together, find common ground rooted in shared values and work diligently toward a goal, we can be drivers of truly positive change in our community.
As we aim to inspire a new generation of Coloradans to care for our land and for each other, we must remember to share with them successes like Hermosa Creek, which demonstrate the value of collaboration and how by working together, we can triumph over difficulties like partisanship and political difference. On that note, I’d like to thank the countless people in our region who worked together to protect our beautiful backyard, and did so with respect for each other and our town. I’d also like to thank and congratulate Rep. Scott Tipton and Sen. Michael Bennet for their leadership on Hermosa Creek and for supporting our community consensus.