Protect Utah’s natural beauty

By By Marla Kennedy

By Marla Kennedy

Marla KennedyMember of the Initiative 1 campaignGuest Columnist

It’s easy to see why Initiative 1 has so many supporters. It’s one of the most important chances we will have to shape our future quality of life. People all over this state are recognizing the need for Initiative 1. I think it’s because each of us knows how good we have it as Utah residents.

Our state has such an incredible range of natural beauty, from mountain peaks to red-rock canyons and desert basins. I wake up in a city full of parks and trails, where I can drive just minutes and find myself in the midst of some of the most amazing landscapes the West has to offer.

But I know that what I’m enjoying today is fragile. Utah will change-and soon. Our population will explode in the coming years. Pollution, overcrowding and the loss of our most important natural resources are serious consequences. If we don’t plan ahead, then we could very easily lose what so many of us love most about living here.

Initiative 1 will help protect what we have, and so years from now Utah residents can still wake up and feel lucky to live in this state.

For just $14 per family per year, Initiative 1 will offer significant new funding for projects that improve water and air quality, prevent pollution, protect wildlife habitat and natural beauty and support farming traditions.

What’s great about Initiative 1 is it’s simple and I know where my money is going. The initiative will clearly define how the funds will be spent and exactly what types of projects will be eligible to apply for the funds.

I urge everyone to read the actual initiative language. It’s extremely straightforward and short-only three pages. You can find it at:

I also like that so many different people and organizations have tossed aside differences and found common ground on Initiative 1. The list of endorsers is incredibly diverse, including former Sen. Jake Garn (R-Utah), former BYU coach LaVell Edwards, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jon Huntsman Jr., U law school dean/Democratic gubernatorial candidate Scott Matheson Jr., conservation groups like The Nature Conservancy, sportsmen’s organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and even public health organizations, as well as the Salt Lake media.

The questions you should ask yourself on Nov. 2 are these: Do you enjoy the parks and trails in our community? Do you fish in Utah’s streams or lakes? Do you like camping in the mountains or biking in the red-rocks? Does it matter whether or not you or your future children have clean water to drink and clean air to breathe? If you answered yes to any of the above, then you should vote “yes” on Initiative 1.

All of us have a responsibility to do our part to make sure we don’t ruin Utah for the next generation. Initiative 1’s $14 per family per year is a very small price to pay for the peace of mind that we are doing something proactive and wise to prepare for its future.

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