Let’s vote! Early voting has started and your vote really counts in this non-federal election cycle. Local elections are one way we can have some power that we all feel is being eroded away. Our local candidates can reflect the positive direction that we all want to go to protect our beautiful valley for now and for our children’s children.

Sam Linnet is an obvious choice. He is so very well educated in climate change. He has served on the Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission. He has advocated for us by asking that Hailey develop a clean-energy action plan. Juan Martinez is also on board with Hailey developing a clean-energy plan. His enthusiasm is infectious. Both of these candidates were approved by Conservation Voters for Idaho.

While we face complex issues that may stem from past mistakes, we can now move forward to have an impact. If our river floods neighborhoods built in floodplains, we can obtain properties and re-establish wetlands to mitigate flooding. We can do this by electing officials who will adhere to zoning laws to prevent this from happening again.

If we fear wildfires, we can elect officials who will try to reduce manmade fires, which is over 85 percent of wildfires. Laws already on the books can be enforced more stringently, such as the ban on exploding targets.

If we worry about drought and the coming shortage of clean drinking water, we can all reduce our water consumption by planting drought-resistant yards. We can elect officials who will protect our fresh water sources from contamination by livestock and mining. We can send comments to our local and state legislators to favor safety of water sources over profit margins of large livestock corporations.

There are so many small things that can be done. And by voting for the candidates best qualified and most committed to ensuring our future and our present. Send a letter. Call your elected officials and reinforce the idea that we all want to have a sustainable plan for ourselves, our families, our city and our state. Go vote.

Martha Bibb, Hailey

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