For 40 years, the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance has worked to protect the wildlife, wild places, and community character of Jackson Hole. Recently, we built a civic engagement program to empower our members, and our whole community, to be active participants in our local democracy. We have found that most people in Jackson consider themselves conservationists. You probably do too. But do you know if your conservation values are being effectively championed by your elected representatives?
An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic. Self-government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight.
It can be a challenge to get involved and make a difference if you aren’t “in the weeds” of local politics every day. That’s why, in our 40th anniversary this year, we launched the Alliance Accountability Check, including ads in the JH News & Guide highlighting local elected representatives’ decisions on key land use and conservation issues. And here, for the first time, is our Conservation Vote Round-Up of the most important local and state government votes from the past year.
We’re highlighting bills and local decisions that relate to our mission and impact conservation in Jackson Hole. We explain why these decisions are important to our community and why the Alliance supported or opposed them. Many important issues never go to a formal vote. By tracking and sharing our representatives’ votes, we can hold them accountable to prioritizing wildlife, wild lands, and our strong, diverse, and vibrant local community.
We must also acknowledge the limitations of judging representatives on a few selected votes, which might not reflect the complexity of their discussions or their values. Contact your legislators if you have questions, and start a good conversation. As a nonprofit, we never support or oppose candidates for office – but we do take positions on issues, and give our members the information and education they need to hold elected representatives accountable to their promises and our values. We hope this helps make it easy to be involved. Thanks for taking part in the critical work of self-government!