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Priorities: The Environment

Every Day is Earth Day.

Community Success Story

The 1A for Summit Ballot Initiative

As the co-Chair of the successful 2018 ballot initiative, I’m proud that this effort to improve recycling opportunities in Summit County has already yielded results for the recycling component:

  • New Silverthorne drop site
  • New mattress collection at SCRAP
  • Food scrap/composting collection now free at all sites
  • Acceptance of milk/liquid cartons 
  • Added numerous glass depots around community

Much more to be done, including commercial composting and fabric recycling. We should be grateful that we have such a strong partner in the High Country Conservation Center.

The quality of our land, air and water is connected to nearly every issue that a Commissioner has to consider. 

Every day in Summit County, we witness the benefits of policies and strategies that protect our natural resources. Maintaining and expanding these policies, along with enhancing our reputation as a leader in the fight against climate change, will define the kind of county our kids will inherit.

Our economy depends on the health of the natural resources and habitat around us. Our vast national forest, ski areas and open spaces, and our agricultural and ranching communities in the Lower Blue depend on careful, collaborative, and committed stewardship. 

We cannot forget that these natural assets and sheer beauty of Summit County are cherished by visitors and locals alike. Our policies, priorities, and values must continue to reflect it.

 

Should our approach change with COVID?

If Covid-19 has a silver lining it’s that it’s created some relief for our natural environment and has reminded us how important access to the outdoors and our natural habitat is to residents and visitors alike.

The County should lead a discussion with stakeholders on a recovery plan that doesn’t just focus on revenue recovery and visitor counts. It will be an opportunity to rebuild thoughtfully and reaffirm our commitment to conservation and our fight against climate change.

We have made great progress on our Climate Action Plan, renewable energy, recycling, wildfire mitigation, and open space acquisition. While budgets will drive capabilities, priorities, and timelines, staying focused on our long-term initiatives will be more important than ever.

 

Environmental Priorities

  • Maintain our commitment to the county’s Climate Action Plan and renewable energy resolution
  • Continue development of sustainable building codes adopted in County, Breck, Frisco to increase efficiency of new homes AND require energy audits for remodels over $50k
  • “Zero Energy Ready Homes,” a Department of Energy certification program, is a comprehensive program that has many opportunities to grow here in Summit.
  • Let’s work to increase the Energy Smart Colorado rebates from $400/project up to $1k for homeowners in unincorporated Summit County, Breck, and any other towns that will support it.
  • Our Solarize Summit program helped 70-80 homeowners put solar on their homes last year. This program needs to be more affordable to our middle income families so we can see wider adoption.
  • Workforce housing projects should strive to be 100% powered by renewables
  • Advocate for expansion of our transit electrification efforts to other County fleet vehicles, and incentivize private vehicle electrification along with the inclusion of charging stations in new developments
  • A future goal to increase rebates for the Resource Wise business program
  • Ensuring 1A funds dedicated to county infrastructure prioritizes energy efficiency
  • Take the lead, in partnership with municipalities, on single-use plastics
  • Take a more aggressive approach to eliminating noxious weeds
  • Ensure Summit County maintains a strong voice in water quality, water conservation, and the surrounding natural habitat and wildlife corridors
  • Prioritize the preservation of open space for conservation and recreation, not development
  • Educate guests and residents about stewardship, best practices, and how to take part in our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and impacts on natural resources