To the editor — There is only one planet Earth. One Columbia River. One Mount Adams, one Pahto. One Yakima Valley. And our children and grandchildren will ask not only how we lived, but also what we left behind.

Are these still rivers we can fish and swim? Can our orchards continue to produce their bounty? Are we sustainable -- have we balanced what we take with what we give?

As we seek to leave this place better than we found it, there are meaningful ways that we can both prosper and protect. We can encourage both the production and consumption of renewable energy by businesses here in our backyard. We can protect our commercially and culturally important local fish stocks through more efficient irrigation practices and more fish-friendly hydropower. We can promote sustainable timber practices as a way of managing fuel loads and avoiding catastrophic seasonal wildfires. And we can protect local farms, recreation areas, and valuable cultural and ecological sites.

The area we call home will continue to grow, prosper and thrive. We just want to do so intentionally and, in a way, that we’ll be able to explain to our kids.

TRACY RUSHING, M.D.

Candidate for District 14 state House of Representatives