La Plata County's profile in an important lobbying group was raised with the selection of Commissioner Wally White to head the organization's land-use committee.
White was elected to a one-year term as chairman of Colorado Counties Inc.'s land use and natural resources steering committee, the county announced in a news release earlier this month.
"This was really quite an honor for me," White said Monday.
The committee reviews bills being considered by the Legislature and, by a vote of the members, decides what position to take on the legislation.
For example, in the committee's last monthly meeting, members voted to support requiring carbon-monoxide alarms in residences and allowing limited harvesting of rainwater, but to oppose a moratorium on new gas and oil rules.
This month, the committee will review bills that would create an oil-shale development task force and would set limits on the wildlife-mitigation measures required of gas and oil operators.
The committee also can vote to simply monitor legislation.
White said counties in the organization can have starkly different views, but the debate always is respectful.
"It's a very democratic situation," he said.
Each county has one vote in deciding the committee's opinion. White said speaking with one voice gives the organization, which represents nearly all the state's counties, more weight with lawmakers.
White also serves as vice president of the western district for Colorado Counties Inc., and he is a member of the public-lands committee; commissioners Joelle Riddle and Kellie Hotter, likewise, serve on committees.