Steamboat appoints people to climate action board

Adia Clark Lay, 17, starts a cheer of "Climate change is not a lie. Do not let our planet die," at a Climate Action Rally at the Routt County Courthouse Lawn on Friday, March 2, 2021. l Shelby Reardon, Steamboat Pilot & Today archive

Sarah Jones, Steve Johnson, Geoff Blakeslee and Tim Wohlgenant have been appointed the Steamboat Springs representatives to the Climate Action Plan Collaborative Board.

The board is a collaboration between Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Oak Creek, Yampa and Routt County. Each municipality will appoint members from a pool of applicants.

Johnson will serve a one-year term, Blakeslee a two-year term, and Wohlgenant and Jones will each serve three-year terms.

Wohlgenant is the executive director of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, Blakeslee is a ranch operator, Jones is the director of sustainability and community engagement for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., and Johnson is the general manager at the Yampa Valley Electric Association.

Representatives from Steamboat will work with the county and other municipalities to carry out the countywide climate action plan, which prioritizes reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preventing the dire impacts of climate change on Routt County.

“I think this climate action plan has potential for making a really big difference in all kinds of ways here in Routt County,” Wohlgenant told Steamboat Pilot & Today on Wednesday. “I’ve always seen climate opportunities as kind of a win-win for society, so I’m eager to dig into it.”

Wohlgenant said climate change impacts Routt County’s entire nonprofit sector, even those who are not directly involved in outdoor preservation or recreation.

“All of our nonprofits touch on climate issues,” Wohlgenant said. “I see all nonprofits having interest in what happens with this plan.”

Jones said she is at the table representing Ski Corp. because it uses energy and water resources, and is a major economic driver for the community.

“Ski Corp is a big user of energy, and we bring people into our community,” Jones said Wednesday. “I think it’s important that we’re at the table as we think about reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.”

Winnie DelliQuadri, Steamboat special projects and intergovernmental services manager, told council members Tuesday that the appointees were chosen based on a diversity of skills and backgrounds.

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