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Cache County Council sees strong support for Open Space Bond proposition

A rainbow arches over a green hay field with houses and mountains in the background.
cacheopenspace.org

Last Wednesday, the Cache County Council held its monthly meeting, and the Open Space Bond proposition was on the agenda. The bond, which aims to provide seed money to preserve historically open spaces in Cache County, saw overwhelming support from local residents.

Local figures, including Mayor Holly Daines, Representative Casey Snider, and state representative candidate Patrick Belmont came to offer their support for the initiative. Representative Snider argued that the county has been prioritizing development.

“If you look at something in Smithfield…every field that's out there is destined to be something else. That field, oh, we're going to put houses there one day. We've zoned it, it's going to be a commercial lot…but never in that discussion is, that is where we want a farm to be 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now,” Snider said.

Jack Draxler, co-chair of the Open Space Advocacy Committee, stressed that the initiative has been nonpartisan from the beginning.

“We have not affiliated with any political party in this process, nor have we endorsed any individual candidates for office. We're strictly a group of citizens that have been meeting since February to try to find a way to save a little bit of the beauty of this beautiful valley,” Draxler said.

Council member Gina Worthen said she had been reluctant to put the bond up for vote, because she felt there were still too many details that needed to be worked out for Cache Valley residents to vote on the initiative.

“This is why I voted no to put it on the ballot…it does voters a great disservice not to have these details worked out. And you end up voting on emotion rather than on substance,” Worthen said.

Concerns from the County Council also included worries that the initiative would need a significant amount of money to actually make a noticeable impact because buying land is extremely expensive.

The bond will appear on ballots this November. More about the Cache Valley Open Space Bond proposition at https://www.cacheopenspace.org/

Aimee Van Tatenhove is a science reporter at UPR. She spends most of her time interviewing people doing interesting research in Utah and writing stories about wildlife, new technologies and local happenings. She is also a PhD student at Utah State University, studying white pelicans in the Great Salt Lake, so she thinks about birds a lot! She also loves fishing, skiing, baking, and gardening when she has a little free time.