JACKSON, Wyo. — Last month, Yvon Chouinard endorsed Christian Beckwith for County Commissioner, calling him “the only candidate for Teton County Commission who is willing to fight for the long term interests of this community.”
This month, more community members have weighed in with their support.
“Christian Beckwith is a bulldog in the best sense,” said Terry Tempest Williams, author, conservationist and writer-in-residence at Harvard Divinity School. “He will fight for the open space of democracy, and advocate for the hard conversations so necessary for a livable future for Teton County.”
Williams was joined in her endorsement by another writer, New York Times bestselling author Ted Kerasote.
“Teton County is at a crossroads,” Kerasote said. “Will continued growth crush us or will we control it? Christian Beckwith wants to control it; other candidates don’t. Christian has my vote.”
In 2006, Kit DesLauriers became the first woman to ski Mt. Everest and the first person to ski the “Seven Summits,” the highest peaks on all seven continents.
DesLauriers’ endorsement of Beckwith’s candidacy alluded to the challenges faced by our community, as well as the ways he would provide leadership.
“We need to give Christian a chance to take the sharp end and lead us into positive change,” said DesLauriers. “To date, no one in our government has demonstrated the bravery and courage necessary to dream big and then act to protect our quality of life. Big stuff needs to happen to keep us wanting to live here. Christian is the candidate to do it.”
Longtime Teton County residents Annie and Rod Newcomb weighed in with their support as well.
“Christian Beckwith has integrity,” they wrote. “In a time full of this label versus that label, Christian is able to listen to all of the information and take the long view. He cares. And he has the energy to work hard for what he believes is best for the community.”
The Newcombs were joined in their support by a wide range of community members, including Elizabeth Storer, President and CEO of the George B. Storer Foundation. “Christian will do what’s needed to preserve our quality of life here in Teton County,” she said. “He’ll be a fearless and effective advocate for protecting our open spaces and our wildlife, restoring our water quality, and making sure that future growth is sustainable, reasonable and serves all members of our community.”
“I’ve known Christian since the early 1990s when he was a homeless climbing bum sleeping in my driveway, saving his nickels so he could publish the next issue of The Mountain Yodel,” said Stephen Sullivan, the Founder and CEO of Stio. “With his sharp intellect and measured manner, he’d make a fine representative to serve our community as a County Commissioner.”
Chris Hansen, the owner of Pizzeria Caldera, agreed. “Christian understands that the only way to keep Jackson from becoming Anytown, USA, is to embody the opening words of the 2012 Comprehensive Plan: ‘Preserve and protect the ecosystem in order to ensure a healthy environment, community and economy for current and future generations,” Hansen said. “A vote for Christian is a vote for the best possible future for Jackson Hole.”
Liza Millet, the Co-Founder and Program Director of the Start-Up Intensive and the Co-Founder of Silicon Couloir, worked with Beckwith on the Teton Boulder Project, which developed the Teton Boulder Park over a decade ago.
“Over the last 12 years, I have watched Christian bring two amazing community projects to life: the much beloved Teton Boulder Park at the base of Snow King, and the very inspiring SHIFT Festival,” she said. “In both, he had a really big and creative vision, the persistence and drive to pull it off, a unique ability to communicate and rally many to his side to help, and a can-do, never-quit attitude, all grounded in great love for our community as well as great respect for the power of place it holds. Christian will work hard and fight harder to protect what we all love about living here.”
Jeff Greenbaum, MD, voiced his support as well. “Jackson Hole needs an intervention,” he said. “Overcrowding and the pro-growth agenda are killing our wildlife and fundamentally changing how locals live. Christian is the only candidate who is addressing the issue of conservation. I am supporting Christian and you should too.”
Environmentally minded community members Mark Sullivan, Michael Stern and Kirk Davenport also weighed in with their endorsements. “Christian’s a thoughtful, compassionate leader, one who will listen, digest, and consider all points of view, and one who will apply the best available science and information to reach smart decisions on the pressing issues facing Teton County,” said Sullivan, an environmental attorney.
“Christian is willing and able to confront the forces of ‘business-as-usual’ that see relentless growth as the solution to all of Teton County’s problems,” said Stern, an urban planner and landscape architect. “Creating a plan for a responsible, sustainable future for our community is an enormous challenge – one that he is ready to meet. Failure to do that will be a crisis of vision that disowns the enormous legacy we have been given to live in one of the unique and special places of the world.”
“Christian is willing to fight to protect our ecosystem and to prevent unchecked development from destroying what is magical about our valley,” said Davenport. “If we don’t push back against the nearly irresistible urge to build, build, build, we will destroy the unique ecosystem that makes our community special. We need a fighter who will be singularly focused on managing the fragile balance between our community and our local wildlife.”
Joy Sawyer-Mulligan, an educator from Alta, agreed.
“Christian believes in the power of this peaks-shadowed place and understands its fragility,” she said. “His approach to conservation is thoughtful, clear-eyed, innovative. There’s a legacy to protect here, and Christian’s ready and eager for the engagement necessary to secure it long-term.”
Longtime conservationists Len Carlman, Bernie McHugh and Susan Marsh endorsed Beckwith as well.
“Taking care of our national legacy and our economic base requires a mix of vision and restraint,” said Carlman. “Christian has seen Jackson Hole from the high vantages of our mountain summits and from the humble posture of a devoted family man. He’s been a dirtbag and a community leader. He will bring the balancing influences of those experiences to advance our common welfare, and drive Jackson Hole in the direction of a healthy, sustainable, and prosperous future.”
“Christian Beckwith is the only candidate who bases his values and his actions on the most important element that sustains life and the economy here in Teton County: our incredible natural resource base,” said McHugh. “Christian understands in his deepest core that clean air, clean water, viable agriculture, wildlife, our forests, and our magnificent mountain landscape are products of natural wonders sustained by generations of sound stewardship. Without this, we have nothing.”
Marsh’s support was tied directly to a recent proposal to develop 4,600+ acres of state lands in Jackson.
“As a lover of our precious public land I support Christian for the Board of County Commissioners,” she said. “Several state school sections in our county are important for their ecological and wildlife values as well as great places for people to ramble. As commissioner he would support keeping these places in public hands instead of selling them to the highest bidder.”
“I’m honored by the support of our community,” said Beckwith. “And I agree: our environment is the engine of our economy, the foundation of our quality of life and the quality of experience we provide to our visitors.”
“If elected, I’ll fight to protect our ecosystem and defend our legacy as the crucible of conservation.”
If the long term sustainability of our ecosystem and community matters to you, please vote for Christian Beckwith for Teton County Commission on November 3. You may learn more about his candidacy and positions at www.christianbeckwith.com.