Letter to the editor: Commissioners should be honoring their commitments
Perpetuity means forever and commitments should be honored. And yet our Summit County commissioners want to renege on a 1998 commitment to conserve the Fiester Preserve in perpetuity. This is a dangerous precedent if you care about preserving our natural lands.
The 6.1 acre Fiester Preserve, a gateway to the Miner’s Creek trailhead at the edge of the County Commons, was named to honor longtime Summit County family Mark and Roberta Fiester. Roberta was a schoolteacher and author of wildflower books. Mark was the pastor of Father Dyer Church in Breckenridge.
The Fiesters have passed, and our commissioners are going back on their word. Anyone thinking of conserving land within Summit County, take note. Faith in local government to keep commitments is vital. The fact that our commissioners want to renege on a promise is disturbing.
Their behavior permanently undermines our local land conservation trust, Colorado Open Lands, which holds the conservation easement.
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The trust’s commitment is: “When Colorado Open Lands accepts a conservation easement, we make a firm commitment to the landowner and the community that we will steward and protect that land forever. And forever is a very long time.”
Colorado Open Lands plans to fight for the protection of the Fiester Preserve. However, local governments hold sway in the courts. If Summit County is able to extinguish this conservation easement, then what is the value of a land conservation trust? Why would you donate your own legacy land, if promises can be broken at the whim of your local government?
Please tell commissioners Karn Stiegelmeier, Thomas Davidson and Elisabeth Lawrence to honor their commitment to preserve conservation land. This is important whether you live, own a second home or play in Summit County. Don’t let this become the precedent.
Attend the commissioner meeting Jan. 28 in Breckenridge.
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