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Letter: Important way of life

To the editor:

“Ranching is one of the few occupations that has been renewable and has produced a continuing way of life.” – Wallace Stegner

Throughout the debate over open space preservation and question No. 1, the importance of this continuing “way of life” produced by ranching probably has been overlooked by most of us.

The ranching and farming community have contributed traditions and heritage unique to the American West. A strong work ethic, a solid family structure, western culture, conservation of resources and stewardship of land have benefited all residents in our county.

My wife Susan and I chose to raise our family here primarily for this rural way of life.

If proactive preservation steps are not taken now and development pushes ranching from Douglas County, these historical roots and cultural values will disappear. Douglas County will become “anywhere USA.”

Question No. 1 raises money to purchase development rights (PDRs) from willing land owners, allowing ranchers the option to remain in ranching, while preserving open space and our rural culture.

Preservation of open space protects more than just land. It protects our western “way of life.” Please vote yes on question No. 1.

Mark C. Neuffer

Oct. 25