Sonja Macys leaving Yampatika for Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory |

Sonja Macys leaving Yampatika for Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory

Teresa Ristow

Sonja Macys

— Yampatika executive director and outgoing Steamboat Springs City Council member Sonja Macys has accepted a position with the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory.

Macys announced Wednesday she will step down from Yampatika in October in order to become the observatory's first development director.

While RMBO has offices in Fort Collins and Brighton, Macys' new location-neutral position will allow her to remain in Steamboat Springs.

"The opportunity came across my desk, and the job description really seemed to be tailor-made for me," Macys said. "This is the first really good, location-neutral position I've seen in a skillset I'm passionate about."

A RMBO biologist already works remotely from Steamboat Springs.

Macys said she'd crossed paths with RMBO a handful of times during her career — including when she was executive director of the Tuscon Audubon Society — prior to coming to Yampatika.

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Yampatika has chosen not to launch a search for a new executive director, and will instead allow current senior staff members to lead the organization, according to Shari Fryer, Yampatika board president.

The organization expanded the position of the environmental literacy program coordinator in May and added a full-time program director in July, essentially two new leadership positions, Macys said.

"The timing for change could not be better," she added.

Fryer said Yampatika would be on solid footing despite Macys' departure.

"She's been an outstanding leader for the organization and has really achieved some significant milestones with Yampatika," Fryer said. "She's leaving the organization set up for success."

Macys' leadership skills and passion for birds made her a good fit for RMBO, which is going through a rebranding process to become Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, according to Executive Director Tammy VerCauteren.

"We were thrilled to find someone who shares our passion for birds and bird conservation and possesses strong experience in organizational development and fundraising," VerCauteren said in a release.

As an organization, RMBO works to conserve birds and their habitats in 13 states and Mexico, using science, education and stewardship.

Macys said she would spend most of November in Fort Collins getting up to speed with the RMBO.

She announced last week she would not be seeking a second term on the Steamboat Springs City Council, upon which she has served since 2011.

"Due to the timing, it was impossible to consider continuing on city council," Macys said in a Wednesday release. "I am proud to have served the community and would certainly consider a return to public service at some point."

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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