Place First

Vote the pro-growth agenda out. It’s killing this place. Christian’s the only candidate for Teton County Commission who is willing to fight for the longterm interests of this community. He has my full support.”

—Yvon Chouinard, Founder, Patagonia

Traffic jams. Empty homes. Heli tours. Contaminated water. Fragmented habitat. Zip lines on Snow King.

They’re not why I live here. And I’m going to fight like hell to make sure they don’t define the future of this Valley.

My name is Christian Beckwith. Like so many people before and after me, I moved here because I fell in love with the Tetons.

For the past couple of decades, I’ve climbed and skied as much as I could in these magnificent mountains. In the process, I’ve developed relationships not only with these peaks, but with the men and women who, like me, were drawn to them—and then, like me, remained for the friendships, collaborations and community they inspired.

Since 1993, when I hitchhiked my way into town—and since 2007 and the Great Recession in particular—I’ve watched as our ability to navigate our unique challenges has been undermined by a growth agenda that prioritizes profit over the wellbeing of both our ecosystem and the people who choose to make Teton County their full-time home.

Today, with COVID-19 and the influx of folks who are moving here to escape the pandemic, we’re witnessing a shift in our demographics, and our values, larger than any we’ve experienced in our lifetimes.    

I’m deeply concerned about the implications of these changes for our quality of life and the long-term resiliency of our community.

These concerns have prompted me to run for Teton County Commission.

When it comes to our community, I believe in three things:

  • protecting our Valley’s wildlife and habitat;
  • responsible growth;
  • and a Jackson Hole that works for all of us.

Starting Alpinist Magazine in 2001 gave me experience balancing budgets and managing a team – and led me to believe human-powered outdoor recreation can and should result in the stewardship of special places like Jackson Hole.

My work with SHIFT has led to innovative collaborations with public health providers, land managers and conservationists from around the country.

It has also persuaded me to adopt a “Place First” approach: the belief that the health and wellbeing of this ecosystem can and should take precedence over any special interests. 

“Place First” forms the bedrock of my perspective for Jackson Hole as well.

If you vote for me for Teton County Commission, I pledge to bring my experience as an innovator, thought leader, social entrepreneur and long-time resident to protect and preserve our ecosystem and our quality of life.

Long-term vision, and leadership strong enough to implement it, has never been more important to our Valley, its wildlife and our working residents.

If you want someone who believes in a Place First approach to Teton County, I’d appreciate your vote in November.

@ 2020 Christian Beckwith for Teton County Commissioner.