Why investment in climate action matters now?
The Yampa Valley is home to extensive natural beauty, western spirit, abundant outdoor recreation opportunities, and the native wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. Yet like so many other mountain communities, the Yampa Valley is already experiencing regional impacts from climate change. Despite the record-breaking snowpack this past year, over the past two decades, Routt County has trended toward an earlier and more rapid snowpack runoff, increased frequency of river closures due to high water temperatures and low flow, and elevated severity of wildfires.
A 2020 Washington Post study found Routt County is among a ‘hot spot’ of warming tracking over two times the national average temperature increases over the last century. According to State Climatologist Russ Schumacher, Colorado’s annual temperature has already warmed 2.9 degrees since 1895 and could warm by 5.5 degrees total by 2050. Additional warming will worsen heat waves, droughts and wildfires, and heavy and extreme precipitation and flooding are likely to worsen as well.
Taking a proactive stance on climate change by supporting the implementation of the Climate Action Plan will allow Routt County to be better prepared for anticipated changes in the regional climate and the impact those changes will have on citizens, landowners and businesses. By working together, residents, governments and all other stakeholders can help reduce our carbon footprint and ensure Routt County remains a vibrant and thriving community for years to come. What we do locally counts, and your actions (and donations!) matter.