Keep Routt Wild

Routt County is uniquely blessed with an abundance of natural resources, including unparalleled wildlife and habitat.  As Routt County and the City of Steamboat seek to establish the Yampa Valley as a premier outdoor recreation destination, we as a community need to be mindful of how and where recreational development occurs.  The unfortunate reality is that in many areas of the county we are loving the outdoors to death. As proponents of outdoor recreation of all kind, Keep Routt Wild strives to find a balance between new recreational development and conserving wildlife and the natural features that make Routt County so unique and precious. We are hikers, bikers, hunters, anglers, skiers, ranchers, and local business owners…we are Routt County.

Our Mission

Keep Routt Wild is a community organization dedicated to preserving wildlife and wild places in Routt County.  Our mission is to promote policies and practices to conserve wildlife and wildlands in the Yampa Valley for future generations of outdoor enthusiasts by balancing opportunities for recreational development with the habitat needs of wildlife.


We believe Routt County hosts world-class wildlife and wildlands and the development and of these special places should be pursued in a balanced and responsible manner.

  • We believe all outdoor recreation planning and development must occur in a transparent, stakeholder driven process that equitably balances development with preservation of other natural resources, economies, and wildlife habitat.

  • We believe that most voters, when approving trails “in or around the city” in ballot issue 2A, were considering trails in the city, such as the Core Trail, and not trails up to Rabbit Ears Pass.  

  • We believe this misunderstanding came to light with the Mad Rabbit proposal and process.

  • We believe the proposed Mad Rabbit Trails project failed to adequately consider and evaluate potential impacts to wildlife habitat and conservation values in the valley.

  • We believe the development of the Mad Rabbit Trails project would result in a reduction of wildlife populations, cause increased hardship on surrounding agricultural lands, and impact ongoing land conservation efforts in the valley.

  • We believe the expenditure of 2A funds for the development of the Mad Rabbit Trail development promotes one recreational opportunity at the expense of wildlife, adjacent agriculture operations, and local business dependent on healthy wildlife populations.

  • We believe the City of Steamboat needs to revisit the expenditure of 2A funds by engaging a variety county constituencies and interests to determine how best to  fulfill the original ballot language of “promoting tourism, enhancing the vitality of Steamboat Springs as a premiere destination resort, enhancing community identity, enhancing the environmental desirability of the community, and enhancing the economic health of Steamboat Springs, all while leveraging grants and partnerships whenever possible.”

  • Because of the above, Keep Routt Wild was formed.  The members of Keep Routt Wild will participate in a meaningful way to find opportunities to balance recreation opportunities with wildlife conservation efforts in the county.


  1. Organize, inform, and engage historical forest users: wildlife watchers, horseback riders, hikers, trail runners, hunters, photographers as well as impacted parties such as adjacent landowners and the agricultural community.

  2. Write letters to the editor and public officials.

  3. Request reprieve in Forest Service process to allow for alternatives (ski area, core trail, Emerald Mountain. a true master plan to include all needed facilities)

  4. Cooperating agreement between government agencies (Routt County, City of SS, USFS, CPW)

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