Keep Routt Wild has obtained photos taken by US Forest Service game cameras through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Taken in 2015, these photographs show who called this place their home before we built the Flash of Gold trail through their habitat.Here are the original inhabitants. Here are the Elk of Flash of Gold.



This melancholy video, “Something’s Wrong”, ponders human impact on wildlife in Routt County and Colorado. Told through local headlines from Steamboat Springs and around Colorado


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Building a new recreation trail is not, by itself, an act of conservation. What takes courage, conviction and forward-thinking vision is consciously choosing not to blaze a trail out of respect for animals that have limited home ground to inhabit, and far fewer options to survive than we do to play.
— Todd Wilkinson


We need a new Golden Rule for the Great Outdoors: Place first. This simply means that nature’s needs come before our recreation ones...

Nature once had plenty of elbowroom. Today natural places—those places we like to play in—are increasingly squeezed by climate change and a booming human population. And even our well-meaning recreation can tighten the thumbscrews.
— Christopher Soloman | Outside Magazine

Link to full article here

...Ninety-three percent of the surveys showed that outdoor recreation had an effect on local wildlife; 59 percent of those effects were clearly negative, such as population declines. Even more surprising: Recreational activities like hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, climbing, and trail running often disturbed nearby wildlife even more than motorized recreation.
— Jim Yuskavich


Researchers have only recently found the longest large mammal migration in the continental United States: Mule deer migrate 150 miles (241 kilometers) in western Wyoming each year. And it's no easy task for them-barriers include highways, fences, tough terrain, and bodies of water.

“Newly formed group advocates to slow trail building in Routt National Forest to protect wildlife”

Editor’s notes:

This story discusses trail building initiatives funded by revenue from Steamboat's accommodations tax, which is frequently called the 2A tax after the 2013 ballot initiative that designated the funds to be used to build trails in the Steamboat Springs area. The accommodations tax is different from the 2A commercial air program sales tax, which voters will find on their ballots in November.

The Economic Contributions of Outdoor Recreation in Colorado

This study, conducted by Southwick Associates for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, quantifies the economic contribution of outdoor recreation in Colorado and 7 regions within the state. Outdoor recreation constitutes a substantial part of the Colorado economy. The total economic output associated with outdoor recreation amounts to $34.5 billion dollars, contributing $19.9 billion dollars to the Gross Domestic Product of the state. This economic activity supports over 313,000 jobs in the state, which represents 13.2% of the entire labor force in Colorado and produces $12.4 billion dollars in salaries and wages. In addition, this output contributes $4.9 billion dollars in local, state and federal tax revenue.

Click Here to View the Full Analysis