A number of years ago I traveled from Baltimore Maryland to Coos Bay Oregon on my first westward ho trek. Up to that time, the “west” for me was Virginia. During that week of astonishing sights I had only imagined from the many western movies I had watched, I dreamed of the wide-open spaces those westerns had taught me to expect out west. But my imagination had been deceived. I noticed fences, mile after mile of fences, do-not-enter, keep out, no trespassing, private property until I came to realize that the West had become the East only drier.
The only open spaces that are left are the ones we choose to leave. They are the only open spaces our future generations will get to have for themselves. We are the generation that will decide this. When our grandchildren and their children look back, they will judge how well we did to leave them just a modest remnant of what was left to us, which in turn was just a modest remnant of the open space our parents had received from their parents. We are the generation who will decide what is left for the future.
A token payment of about $1 a month will create a conservation fund to enable us to leave that last bit of open space for our grandchildren to play in, to enjoy what’s outside, to know that there is something bigger than they are. That is why I support the Benton County Conservation Futures Fund exclusively for purposes of acquiring park land and open space, protecting water quality, preserving agricultural land, conserving wildlife habitat, and increasing outdoor recreation opportunities.
I urge you to vote Yes on Prop 14-7. I urge you to become one of that great generation that chose to leave a legacy outside the fences, outside the no trespassing signs, and open to one and all.