The Tri-Cities is my hometown, Benton County is my home county. It was a great place to be a kid, plenty of fishing holes, places to plink around with my BB gun, ride my bike forever and get lost in Sequoia-like sage brush forests. I believe that Proposition 14-7 will ensure that Benton County remains a great place to be a kid of all ages.
Proposition 14-7 will advise the county commissioners about the citizen support for the creation of a Benton County Conservation Futures Fund which will provide funding to acquire park land and open space, protect water quality, preserve agricultural land, conserve wildlife habitat and increase outdoor recreation opportunities.
The Conservation Futures authority was established more than40 years ago by the Washington State Legislature and has been adopted by 13 counties and now we have a chance to have it work for Benton County.
For only $12 a year for the typical homeowner, we have a unique opportunity to protect Benton County’s land, water, wildlife and outdoor recreation for future generations. The fund expires in 10 years, and by creating it we will make Benton County eligible for state and federal matching funds that would otherwise go to other counties.
The biggest lesson I have learned over my 64+ years of being a kid in Benton County is that once it is gone, it is gone forever. It is time for a historical effort to protect our sense of place.