Encourage Congress to allow the population to stabilize.

Since 1970, population growth has accounted for 70 to 90 percent of the loss of open space in Colorado. Attempts to concentrate and direct development into confined, denser areas are not enough to offset the pressures from population growth. Colorado officials can hope only to slow population growth in their jurisdictions if the national population continues to increase by some 2.0 to 2.5 million additional residents each year.

The sole source of long-term population growth in the United States is immigration. Thus, long-term population growth in the United States and Colorado is in the hands of federal policy makers. Until the numerical level of national immigration is lowered, even the best local plans and political commitment will be unable to stop the loss of open space.


Work on local solutions

The role of increasing land consumption per person has fallen in the country as a whole, but it has always been a minor factor in Colorado’s sprawl. A two-pronged approach to saving open space should include measures to reduce wasteful over-consumption of our land and resources.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a website devoted to Smart Growth at: https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth. It contains a number of practical resources for planners, activists, developers, and local officials to help promote smart growth, which EPA defines as: “a range of development and conservation strategies that help protect our health and natural environment and make our communities more attractive, economically stronger, and more socially diverse.”