Very well said Jim and I want to thank you for all you did in running the great race and for encouraging our community to take the next step. I stand ready to support a petition to protect as much natural open space as possible. El Paso needs to face up to the reality that we must take critical steps towards a sustainable future. Those steps include taking necessary actions to help ensure that future generations will have the natural open space and life sustaining resources needed to maintain a high quality of life.
Growth must be smart for the ecosystem, not just the pocket book. We need a strong economy, but what kind of economy and quality of life will we have if most of the world surrounding us is devoid of natural landscapes. We need native plants and soils to absorb the heat of the sun rather than all the new pavement and roads going up everywhere reflecting the heat back into the atmosphere. Native plants are also important to insects that provide pollination services and food for wildlife like nesting birds. Did you know that few insects important to nesting birds feeding their young survive on exotic plants?
Protecting natural landscapes means helping to maintain fertile soil, filtering and cleaning the air we need to breathe, capturing C02 emissions from our vehicles and energy generation, and producing oxygen that we need to breathe. Simply put a diverse ecosystem cannot function as nature intended without all the parts intact.
We need to make sure that our elected leaders understand the value of the ecosystem. Those who create and implement future development plans must include the value of lost ecosystem services when evaluating development projects. If they don’t know how they need to learn. Our city and our country needs stronger mandates for the protection of the environment and your advocacy efforts are right on the mark. As soon as the petition is ready I want to be one of the first to sign and to help others to sign as well. What you have proposed in your blog is to me one of the most important issues facing our city today, after all, without a healthy natural environment nothing else matters.