Let’s work together to build a better future

I’m Gwen Lachelt, and I’m running for La Plata County commissioner. The Democratic primary election is Tuesday. There are no contested races in this primary, but voting for the candidates shows your support and keeps your voting records up-to-date.

I have lived and worked in La Plata County for 30 years. I have 25 years of bringing rural and urban residents together to discuss and develop solutions to difficult issues. Since graduating from Fort Lewis College, I’ve helped create BearSmart, Durango Community Access Television and the San Juan Citizens Alliance. I am the founder and director of Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project.

I am a strong advocate of landowner rights. I have worked with ranchers here and throughout Colorado and New Mexico to protect their properties and the health of their families and livestock.

I worked closely with state Sen. Ellen Roberts to develop and pass into law the Colorado Landowner’s Protection Act. This precedent-setting law requires companies to negotiate with landowners before drilling and allows landowners to require a host of cleaner drilling practices.

Over the years, I have fought for affordable housing, safer highways and transparent and responsible government. Our work to address gas drilling impacts in La Plata County has led to worldwide awareness of oil and gas fracking, cleaner and cost-saving drilling practices and disclosure of fracking chemicals.

I believe in planning for our children’s future. Decision-makers who have refused to engage in long-term planning have lost the public trust. With your support, I will help restore trust and confidence in our county government.

I believe La Plata County can be a leader in promoting clean energy, growing our local food industry, and building green businesses and jobs – that takes vision and working together and building consensus. Together, we can build a bright future.

Gwen Lachelt

Durango