Allen advocates for SLV in Washington

ALAMOSA — Alamosa County has a voice at the national level. That voice is Commissioner Darius Allen. Allen shared some of the details about his recent five-day trip to the National Association of Counties (NACo) meeting in Washington, D.C.

The National Association of Counties is an advocacy based national organization that consists of county government leaders from across the United States. The Mission of NACo is to “strengthen America’s Counties.” The public policy issues that NACo is involved in range from agriculture to veterans affairs.

As a representative for Alamosa County, Allen has been a part of NACo for 20 years. He also serves on the National Public Lands Board, which is a steering committee of NACo. Allen was quick to point that there were three important resolutions that were passed by the delegation during the course of the meeting. The first was to support the use of grazing as a forest management tool. The second was updating the NEPA process. The third was the regarding the continued use of prescribed burns as another land management tool. The final vote on the resolutions is expected to come during the July 2019 NACo meeting.

Other key issues that NACo is currently working to address include preparation for the 2020 census and public lands related issues such as Payment in Lieu of Taxes. Allen also noted that the divide between east/west land management issues is real. He noted that the Colorado delegation of commissioners at NACo is working to communicate with their eastern counterparts to help them understand what the west is facing.

During his time in Washington, Allen also got to meet the new Secretary of the Interior David Berhardt and the new Chief of the United States Forest Service Vikki Christensen. He also got the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill as well as have dinner with Congressman Scott Tipton.

Allen is grateful to have the opportunity to serve Alamosa County, attend the NACo meetings and serve on the National Public Lands Board. He does his best to help bring awareness of the issues that the San Luis Valley faces to Washington.