The demand for this place is insatiable. By widening our highways, building new roads, developing more hotels and expanding our infrastructure, we’ve made our willingness to accommodate it abundantly clear.  

That willingness is now coming at the expense of our quality of life, and the quality of experience for our visitors.

Those of us who live here have made a conscious choice. We’ve exchanged career opportunities and the conveniences of an urban lifestyle for the deeper satisfactions of shadowed forests, bugling elk, clean drinking water and the sight of the clouds playing against a wild valley floor from the top of the Grand. 

The 2012 Comprehensive Plan enshrines our community’s priorities in its opening words: to “preserve and protect the area’s ecosystem in order to ensure a healthy environment, community and economy for current and future generations.”

Protecting our ecosystem not only helps preserve our quality of life, our social cohesion and our economy; it also serves as an example to the rest of the world of the ways we can maintain the delicate balance between the built and natural environments.

I believe we need to “take our foot off the gas pedal” of our current growth trajectory. Our traffic and housing problems are real. But we have an obligation to this and future generations, as well as to the magnificent landscape that drew so many of us to Jackson in the first place, to squeeze every last ounce of efficiency from our existing infrastructure before we commit to new developments that will further degrade our ecosystem and that we know, thanks to the law of induced demand, will inevitably fill up. 

If you want someone who will fight to protect Teton County’s ecosystem and the quality of life and experience it provides for all of us, I’d appreciate your vote in November.

@ 2020 Christian Beckwith for Teton County Commissioner.