Montana voices: Open space vital to Missoula County’s future

What draws more than 12 million guests to Montana each year? Why has Missoula County grown in population by almost 50 percent since 1990? Why has the outdoor recreation industry grown to be our state’s largest industry? Why is Missoula County so appealing to residents and guests?

My guess it is not the traffic on Reserve Street that appeals to folks. All indications are it is our open and wild spaces that generate the Montana magic that draws people to Missoula County.

Our open and wild spaces require attention and appreciation if they are to remain. If they disappear under pavement they are gone forever. If we lose our open places we lose the very reason we love living here. As the population and number of guests increase, the demand for open space grows as well.

As important as open spaces are today, ask your mind to look 20 years into the future. If you look thoughtfully into the future, I believe you will see our open spaces becoming more valuable as time passes. Will Missoula County be a vibrant area with ample open places 30 years from now?

The answer to that question depends partly on the action you take this November. By voting YES for the Open Space bond you will help guarantee outdoor opportunities will remain a part of living in Missoula County. It will cost you about $1.50 per month to help ensure we have open space treasures in our future. That’s a pretty small investment to make sure future generations have outdoor opportunities similar to what we enjoy today.

Vote YES for the Open Space bond in this November’s election.

Lee Boman lives in Seeley Lake