Protecting Our Natural Environment Is One of the Most Important Things We Can Do | Local News | Fold | The Weekly Source

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I am one of many who believe that the natural environment and access to public lands are among the greatest assets of central Oregon, and protecting our natural environment is one of the most important things what we can do to ensure that our region remains this incredible place to live for generations to come.

We must face the climate crisis by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to keep our snowy winters, our forests healthy, our air fresh and clear, and our rivers abundant and wild.

Governments and partner organizations can help, but so can individuals. Governments, for example, can work to improve alternative transportation infrastructure or create incentives for energy efficient homes.

But as individuals we have to take the bus or put new high efficiency heaters in our homes, or buy renewable electricity through our utility. We can get involved professionally or politically, or volunteer for a good cause like cleaning a river.

As a community, we can simultaneously reduce our impact on the environment while addressing other pressing community challenges, such as affordable housing, supporting denser housing and expanded transit options.

Protecting our environment doesn’t necessarily mean keeping things, including our natural spaces, exactly the same. It can be difficult to see more people than we’re used to on a favorite trail, and it’s understandable to think that the only way to protect the natural environment is to stop all change.

But let’s try not to turn to negativity and fear. Let’s try more open-mindedness and flexibility about what our prosperous future looks like and how humans and nature intersect. I hope we can continue to enjoy the beautiful segment of land we have and that we are all ready to roll up our sleeves and do the job to make it that way.

– Cassie Lacy is a Senior Management Analyst working in the City of Bend City Manager’s Office.


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