Colorado has a beautiful and breathtaking landscape. From the plains, rivers, plateaus and mountains, it’s truly an amazing state to live in. No one wants to see polluted water, land or air, but many have different views on how to keep the beauty of nature and still have thriving industries like energy, tourism, housing, etc.

Many people really don’t know or understand how things work in nature or industry by making knee-jerk reactions without understanding how they will affect things, both positively and negatively. Like some environmental activists who protect pipelines and leave trash and human waste after they leave.

They don’t understand that ranchers, farmers, hunters and tourists, for example, rely heavily upon clean, unpolluted and conserved open land. Ranchers need to keep their cattle healthy so they can sell them, farmers need clean water and healthy soil to grow crops, hunters need the entire ecosystem to work so they have healthy animals to hunt and the tourists want to see the beauty it has been.

People who live in the city rarely think of what happens to all the water from the rain and snow after it melts and runs into the gutter. They do not realize how the water runoff from cities is disastrous to farms, ranches and the natural ecosystems beyond cities.

Much of it has pollutants like oil, waste and other chemicals and materials. These things are still not properly addressed and solely focusing on climate change does nothing to help these issues. It also limits the scope of what environmentalism affects and causes a lack of attention to the local issues.

These issues for Colorado are not limited to, but primarily are: Water reserves, water purification, water runoff, clean air, forestry management, growing land usage for housing and industry. The legislation we have for environmentalism in the past few decades is driven more by emotional feel-good intentions rather than legislation or regulations that are logical and well thought out solutions.

You have to understand the basics of ecology (the study of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings) of what one corrective measure does to solve the problem and how it might affect everything around it to see what new issues arise. For example, it feels good not wanting to have any human intervention in our national forests, but without forest management to remove dead, dying or diseased trees, they could end up like California’s forests have become. Forest management is about keeping the forest healthy, which includes having sections with large amounts of dead and diseased trees removed before it becomes fuel for forest fires.

It is on the voter to research legislation we either vote for or have our elected officials create for us all to live by. We have too often put our world view in echo chambers of political ideology.

We have to hold not just our elected officials accountable, but the political party that guides and often is complacent in the failed legislation, rhetoric and information produced that is not completely factual. We need to look to the free market for better solutions to environmentalism and insist that our local, state and federal government bodies stop trying to solve issues with more government.

A Libertarian solution would be holding companies accountable for their actions with our wallets and through a restorative justice system. Buying products that work to accomplish the goal of providing goods and services, but also with moral and environmentally friendly efforts in the creation of those goods and services. We cannot entrust government with the free market, because when we do, the market is no longer free. We must claim it and regulate it as individual consumers.

No government subsidies, bailouts or special interest legislation to make a crony market. We need small businesses to have the same ability to grow as large corporations do. Support your small and local businesses to help take away power from the government and back into the free market.

 Will Jackson is a military veteran and Colorado native who is an information systems professional, author and musician. He has a deep love for Colorado and the United States of America, being an avid supporter of the United States Constitution and the rights, liberty and freedoms of all U.S. citizens. He also is an environmentalist in the classic sense with balancing the needs of nature with people.