Comprehensive Planning for La Plata County’s Future: I actively pushed the County to re-engage with creating a comprehensive plan. The Planning Commission is now doing so, with active citizen support.
La Plata County’s Precious Water: I supported the creation of the La Plata County Water Advisory Commission to aide the county both in planning for, and protecting, our waters.
Air Quality Standards: I led the county in developing strong state air quality standards and the nation’s first rule controlling methane emissions from oil and gas operations.
Diversifying La Plata County’s Employment: I advocate daily for diversifying our economy so we are not so dependent on any single industry.
Advocating for County Fiscal Responsibility: I supported convening a Fiscal Sustainability Steering Committee to help the commissioners plan for the county’s financial future.
The Green Business Roundtable (GBR) is one of the most innovative and successful lunchtime networking events in Durango. Routinely attended by over 80 business leaders, elected officials, and influential community members, GBR inspires innovative discussions on timely issues affecting our region. GBR is non-partisan. See upcoming topics and join us on the second Wednesday of each month through April. More
The goal of The Club is to bring together all Democrats, from the most conservative to the most progressive, to celebrate our shared values, appreciate who we are and to work together to put more Democrats in office. Visit us on Facebook. Luncheon every 2nd Tuesday every month at the Durango DoubleTree Hotel. Visit the La Plata County Democrats website. More
Gwen Lachelt voiced support for the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed natural gas waste rule during a congressional hearing April 27, 2016. Durango Herald Article.More
Denver Post Editorial by Gwen Lachelt
The American people are about to inherit another costly Superfund site, courtesy of inadequate and outdated federal mining regulations. Earlier this month, the EPA recommended that the Gold King Mine in southwest Colorado, which dumped a torrent of mine waste into the Animas River last year, should be added to the list of the nation’s most toxic clean-up sites. Photo (Brennan Linsley, Associated Press file).
Lachelt’s years of work, which ranges from co-founding Bear Smart Durango to helping pass legislation to protect New Mexico’s Valle Vidal from mineral extraction, has attracted the attention of The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN, Time and The Washington Post, among others. In 2005, because of OGAP’s work, the Ford Foundation named her a national finalist for the Leadership for a Changing World award.
I have been responsive to public concerns, both large and small – whether it’s been citizens wanting to ensure funding for the Sunnyside and Fort Lewis libraries, or a dangerous road intersection needing some additional signage, or too much commercial traffic to and from mines, or too many bears in too many trashcans, I have acted. There are no easy answers. I’m hoping that together we can determine how we can effectively deal with these issues without breaking the bank or increasing the budget – how we can make improvements without adding additional staff.More
Our county population is projected to explode from our current 54,000 residents to an estimated 85,000 by 2035. To preserve our county’s beauty and health, to keep this home to both wild life and ranchers, to attract high quality employers, we need to plan carefully.More
Durango, Colo. - The recent mining pollution spill in my corner of Colorado - La Plata County - is making national news for all the wrong reasons. Beyond the spill and its impact in everyone downstream, the underlying causes are far more worrisome and dangerous than just a mistake made by the Environmental Protection Agency.More
Though currently toxic, our local environmental problems could actually stimulate local jobs and growth. From methane emissions that need an "Apollo-like effort to bring local, state and federal governments together with businesses and organizations to reduce emissions; to acid mine drainage leaving more than 300 million gallons each year into the Animas River -- these are our opportunities to clean up and employment.More
Gwen is always firm in her convictions, and while we have not always agreed, she is in public service for all the right reasons.
Gwen brings fresh perspectives, intelligence and thoughtfulness, and creative problem-solving to address La Plata County issues.
Gwen knows how to work with diverse groups to get things done.