Climate Action Plan working groups to unveil 45 recommendations at open house June 21

Leaders of the five sector working groups of the Routt County Climate Action Plan Collaborative met in April to finalize actionable recommendations, which will be presented to the public on June 21.
Yampa Valley Sustainability Council/Courtesy photo

After more than 1,400 hours of volunteer service by 65 sector experts, the working groups of the Routt County Climate Action Plan collaborative board are ready to share 45 actionable recommendations with the public during an open house June 21.

The five climate action working groups in the areas of energy, land use, transportation, waste and economy will present the specific Climate Action Plan recommendations that were identified and prioritized during a nine-month process.

The group members reviewed the initial 22 CAP strategies, which were adopted in summer 2021 by all the municipalities in Routt County, and conducted a gap analysis to prioritize recommended actions to help leaders move forward with specific measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the county.

“The recommendations of the CAP working groups set forth actions that policy makers can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to ensure future generations will be able to enjoy the same quality of life that we do today,” said Gail Garey, chair of the CAP Collaborative Board.

Garey added that some of the recommendations will be easy to implement while others will require more time and collaboration.

“The recommendations align and build on current initiatives such as acting on the Regional Transportation Authority study once it is completed, or increasing water conservation efforts by installing hydration stations in high traffic areas and by limiting the installation of turfgrass,” Garey said. “There are also recommendations that have co-benefits such as developing green purchasing programs, which includes giving preference to local suppliers and increasing regional self-reliance by creating and supporting more local food sources.”

The recommended actions will reduce carbon emissions and make a positive economic impact on the region, Garey said.

According to the adopted Climate Action Plan, the top climate threats facing the region include increased temperatures, reduced snowpack, increased wildfire risk, increased drought, increased variability in precipitation patterns and increased flooding.

The county’s Climate Action Plan Collaborative includes Routt County, Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Oak Creek and Yampa. If all 22 strategies and associated actions of the plan are implemented, Routt County could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2030 and 74% by 2050.

The open house presentation is set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. on June 21 at Colorado Mountain College’s Allbright Auditorium in Steamboat Springs. Child care, beverages and light snacks will be provided.

The presentation will begin with an overview of the collaborative followed by a gallery-style display of stations with information about the sectors and implementation recommendations. Members of the working groups will be available to answer questions, and a Spanish-speaking interpreter will be on hand to answer individual questions.

Public comments can be submitted at For questions, contact or 970-871-9299, ext. 116.

The leadership of the five working groups of the Routt County Climate Action Plan Collaborative include:

• Energy, chair Dan LeBlanc, general contractor and Yampa Valley Electric Association board member, and co-chair Todd Carr, Routt County Building Official;

• Land use, chair Geoff Blakeslee, retired from The Nature Conservancy, and co-chair Carolina Manriquez, forester with Colorado State Forest Service;

• Transportation, chair Sarah Jones, director of social responsibility at Steamboat Resort;

• Waste, chair Meredith Rose, owner of Rose West Ag Marketing, and co-chair Scott Cowman, Routt County director of environmental health;

• Economy, co-chairs, John Bristol, executive director of Routt County Economic Development Partnership; and Tegan Ebbert, Town of Hayden community development director.

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