Sustainability

DESIRED OUTCOMES & RECOMMENDED ACTIONS
Sustainability
Sustainability enhances the current quality of life for future generations by setting goals and measuring progress toward attaining clean water, clean air, affordability, clean renewable energy sources, and a diversified economy.

AIR QUALITY

Desired outcome

Maintain or enhance existing air quality for future generations that includes both health based standards and visibility.



Possible interest groups/stewards

Citizen action groups; governmental agencies; individuals and organizations

Recommended actions Timeframe
  • Ensure compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards county-wide.
short term and ongoing
  • Educate to encourage retrofit or replacement of solid fuel burning devices to cleaner technology.
short term and ongoing
  • Develop a mechanism to enforce emission standards for internal combustion engines.
ongoing
  • Recognize and encourage continued support of municipal street sweeping.
ongoing
  • Encourage dust suppression on applicable county roads.
ongoing
  • Enforce current policies that reduce light pollution and develop uniform standards.
ongoing
  • Educate to encourage retrofit of existing light fixtures to protect the dark sky.
ongoing
  • Seek methods to reduce vehicle miles traveled.
ongoing
VISION 2020 TO REALITY
Air quality in downtown Steamboat Springs has improved since 1990.

Source: Community Indicators Report, Yampa Valley Partners, 2009

graph of air quality

WATER QUALITY& QUANTITY

Desired outcome

Ensure the integrity of our water supply, both in quantity and quality, for future generations.



Possible interest groups/stewards

Citizen action groups; governmental agencies; individuals and organizations; Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District and Yampa-White River Basin Roundtable
Most of the water diverted from the Yampa River is used for irrigation. The quantity of water used for irrigation increased dramatically between 2000 and 2003. Source: Community Indicators Report, Yampa Valley Partners, 2009

Recommended actions Timeframe
  • Establish ongoing monitoring mechanisms for water quantity flow and quality measurements.
short term and ongoing
  • Continue to monitor and expand gauging stations for appropriate historic, baseline flows and on-going comparisons.
ongoing
  • Continue to conduct critical species monitoring mechanisms.
ongoing
  • Implement water monitoring program to address water quality and quantity issues and update existing city and county regulations and procedures as necessary:

    • Section 208 Clean Water Act;
    • Colorado Point Discharge Elimination System Program MS4;
    • County zoning and sub-division regulations;
    • Routt County 1041 regulations – areas and activities of state interest;
    • State, County and Local regulations for storm water management and erosion control techniques (e.g. City of Steamboat Springs Green Building Code and Watershed Protection Ordinance);
    • Mitigation of contaminated sites and pursue funding mechanisms in place.
short term and ongoing
  • Continue to support and expand public education and awareness for water quality and water quantity, including best management practices for non-point sources.
ongoing
  • Develop forestry practices to prevent erosion and address beetle-kill impacts on the watersheds.
short term
  • Educate to encourage retrofit of existing light fixtures to protect the dark sky.
ongoing

LAND STEWARDSHIP

Growth management and land use planning should be compatible with sustainable land use practices including protection of bio-diversity and conservation of natural resources [applicable action items are listed within Agriculture/Open Space and Planning]


ENERGY

Desired outcome

Use clean, renewable energy, with conservation, diversification, and mitigation of fossil fuel impacts that focus upon sustainable technologies and practices to meet the needs of future generations.



Possible interest groups/stewards

Public utilities, governmental agencies, individuals and organizations

Recommended actions Timeframe
  • Support and encourage efforts of organizations in collaboration with governmental agencies to promote conservation, encourage renewable energy sources, and implement energy strategies.
ongoing
  • Immediately implement energy conservation programs.
short term
  • Immediately implement a renewable energy mitigation program that funds and supports local renewable energy efforts.
short term
  • Develop a plan to implement reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through mechanisms such as impact fees, mineral severance tax, carbon footprint tax, renewal energy mitigation programs and others.
mid term
  • Diversify, promote and incentivize grid energy sources including solar, wind, geo-thermal, bio-fuels (waste to energy, pellets), efficient domestic fossil fuels and additional alternatives.
mid term and ongoing

BUILT INFRASTRUCTURE

Desired outcome

Build and locate it right the first time. Built infrastructure, both old and new, considers environmental, social and economic impacts to plan for future generations. Use existing infrastructure when possible, including renovation, preservation and use of historic assets to ensure community character and heritage.



Possible interest groups/stewards

Governmental agencies, public utilities; organizations

Recommended actions Timeframe
  • Develop an inventory of existing infrastructure, including water, wastewater and energy transmission, for communities in Routt County to better determine how to accommodate future needs.
short term
  • Research, develop and provide incentives for preservation of historic buildings to bring up to modern energy-efficient standards.
mid term
  • Develop a plan and adopt a standard to obtain efficient energy use and zero waste buildings by 2030.
mid term
  • Encourage the development and implementation of water conservation standards.
short term and ongoing
  • Reduce the use of raw materials, re-use materials that can be used and recycle other materials which can be used to create new projects. Encourage source separation and recycling of waste materials on new and demolition projects.
short term and ongoing

These two trees have been standing next to our school since it began. They remind us how change can be beautiful if done right. Madison King, North Routt Community Charter School


GREEN LIVING

Desired outcome

Create, educate and implement safe and convenient choices for self-sufficient living that reduces individual carbon footprints and enhances the greater public health, safety and security.



Possible interest groups/stewards

All interested parties; public/private partnerships and governmental agencies

Recommended actions Timeframe
  • Maximize the options for transportation choices, including pedestrian, bike, carsharing, transit and more.
mid term and ongoing
  • Address the recycling barriers of an isolated community.
ongoing and short term
  • Continue to support efforts of Yampa Valley Recycles, Home ReSource and the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.
ongoing
  • Pursue large funding sources through the Governor’s Energy Office to enable rail transportation options and more.
short term
  • Determine ways to reduce and re-use food, yard, beetle kill, manure and other compostable waste through Green Waste programs.
short term and ongoing
  • Create and promote programs that encourage and enable local food production, marketing, sales and consumption including community-supported agriculture, greenhouses, co-ops and more.
short term
  • Provide for appropriate local recycling and/or disposal of hazardous materials.
short term and ongoing
  • Continue to educate and support business efforts that ensure environmental, economic and social sustainability.
ongoing

VISION 2020 TO REALITY

Successes from Vision 2020 include formation in February 1998 of Yampa Valley Recycles, a dedicated group of citizens, representing Routt County, concerned with promoting the recycling of solid waste and educating the public on reducing, re-using, and recycling.

“YVR believes it is possible for people to co-exist with the environment without depleting natural resources or polluting the environment. We aim to expand and support comprehensive recycling programs in the Yampa Valley by educating, promoting, and implementing creative solutions to help communities reduce, reuse, and recycle. We have a strong sense of citizenship towards our community, both locally and globally. We feel a responsibility to encourage a “Stewardship of the Earth” in the projects we promote and in the way we live our lives.”