Ratified: June 25, 2020

The Routt Recreation & Conservation Roundtable believes the use and enjoyment of our environment needs to be balanced with conserving our natural resources and wildlife for current and future generations. We also want to maintain the character of the Yampa Valley and continue to provide for exceptional outdoor experiences that residents and visitors value and appreciate.

Our public lands provide a diversity of outdoor recreation opportunities, connecting people with the outdoors. People of all abilities and backgrounds participate in outdoor activities including hiking, biking, horse riding, hunting, camping, boating, motorized recreation and fishing.They view wildlife and scenery, and explore historic places. They glide through powder at our world-class ski resort and challenge themselves on primitive cross-country ski or snowmobile routes.

Colorado’s population is growing; our public lands are not, and therein lies the challenge. Many people are doing what Coloradans have enjoyed for generations – heading to Colorado’s public lands to recreate. Our population is straining the capacity of our public lands, impacting our wildlife and natural resources, and putting at risk what makes our state so special – our ability to enjoy our mountains and all they offer.

The goal of these principles is to help the Routt Recreation & Conservation Roundtable provide recommendations that guide actions, planning and decisions that ensure sustainable recreation and conservation of lands and wildlife in the Yampa Valley. The Routt Recreation & Conservation Roundtable will use the principles as a lens through which to make recommendations regarding issues brought before the group. Land managers in Routt County can also use them to evaluate projects in the planning stages.

By using these 12 Principles, we believe the health, diversity, and productivity of Routt County’s public lands will be sustained for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

1. Utilize public input and collaboration among diverse user groups to promote strategic planning, action and implementation; and use feedback to determine project success.

2. Utilize a thoughtful and deliberate approach toward issues and needs that are critical to protecting and conserving Routt County’s environment, including watershed health and wildlife management.

3. Act holistically–Federal, state and local governments and diverse user groups must collaborate to identify ways they can effectively and efficiently solve problems that occur across jurisdictional boundaries.

4. Be adaptable and resilient –We can’t predict how recreational demands may change. We need an approach that is adaptable over the long-term so we can manage for an uncertain future.

5. Find the optimal combination of recreation and conservation – both are needed to sustain Coloradan’s quality of life, both are beneficial to local economic well-being, for personal health, and for sustaining Colorado’s natural resources.

6. Use sound physical, biological and social science to inform the planning and management of outdoor recreation.

7. Ensure sustainable and diverse funding sources to protect the environment and support outdoor recreation, including maintenance of recreational amenities and enforcement of new and existing rules and regulations.

8. Support stewardship of our outdoor environments and promote education on how to best care for land, water and wildlife through ethical outdoor behavior.

9. Build and maintain community awareness of issues related to outdoor etiquette, recreational options and value of the resource.

10. Support access for underrepresented groups, including people of color and people with disabilities.

11. Support recreation and environmental best practices for outdoor recreation that can be practiced by locals and visitors alike.

12. Honor and preserve the historical and legal protections of all public lands in Routt County.