County Update: Doug Monger, Routt County icon

Tim Corrigan
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Tim Corrigan

It has been my honor and privilege to serve alongside Doug Monger as a Routt County commissioner over the past eight years.

When I first came on board in 2013, Doug went out of his way to support me as a new commissioner. His depth of knowledge and great experience proved to be an invaluable resource for me as I came up to speed to meet my responsibilities. Beyond that, I came to learn that in spite of his occasional gruff demeanor, Doug is a deeply thoughtful and caring person that has never wavered from his commitment to do the right thing for Routt County.

In 2000, Doug prevailed in his bid to be elected Routt County commissioner representing District No. 3 and replacing outgoing Commissioner Ben Beall. It was the first of five terms that Doug would serve the citizens of Routt County.

On the night of his election, Steamboat Pilot & Today reported, “Monger said he wants to try to keep growth near cities. He also wants to prevent sprawl into the rural areas by discouraging ranchers from selling their land off in 35-acre parcels.”

It’s not often that politicians do what they say, but that’s exactly what Doug has done. He promoted and supported Routt County’s master plan that has worked to do just what he promised — maintaining open space and preserving our rural agricultural heritage. When you travel around Routt County and appreciate our open space, working ranches and our western lifestyle, you should take a minute to thank Doug Monger.

In 2002, Doug recognized how important the Yampa Valley Regional Airport was and would become to our economy. At that time, baggage was retrieved outside from temporary tents, aprons and runways were in disrepair, and the terminal was little more than a barn. Doug worked hard to secure grant funding and direct county resources over the years resulting in a facility we can all be proud of and has allowed Steamboat Springs to become a viable destination for thousands of travelers every year.

Doug pioneered the formation of the Yampa Valley Regional Airport Commission to provide oversight of both YVRA and the airport in Steamboat, ensuring both airports can continue to serve the community. When you board an airplane or when you see visitors flying here to support our economy, you should take a minute and thank Doug Monger.

When it appeared that oil and gas development would take off in Routt County, Doug stood strong for a balanced approach toward that industry, insisting that while operators and mineral rights owners had every right to access those resources, they had an equal responsibility to protect our air, water and our road infrastructure. When you enjoy our clear vistas and breathe in our clean air, you should take a minute and thank Doug Monger.

Doug is a third-generation rancher in Routt County and understands how important water is to the Yampa Valley. His service includes representing Routt County on numerous water commissions, roundtables, districts and authorities, including the prestigious Colorado Water District. In these roles, Doug is recognized as a real expert and has used his influence to keep water on the Western Slope and in the Yampa River. The next time you are rafting, fishing, irrigating or even enjoying a glass of clean water, you should take a minute to thank Doug Monger.

After 20 years, it is hard to think about Routt County without Doug as commissioner. But, I also know that Doug will continue his service to the county in other ways and will continue to be a resource to me and my fellow commissioners.

Thanks, Doug.

Tim Corrigan is a Routt County commissioner.

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