Natural Climate Solutions

Investing in land and water conservation and restoration that can help reduce greenhouse gases and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Why it matters:

Restoring natural ecosystems is one of the most important ways for Routt and Moffat County residents to reduce carbon emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Natural climate solutions (NCS) are land management practices — conservation, restoration, and improved management — in our grasslands, forests and wetlands that increase carbon storage and resilience and reduce GHG emissions. NCS have the potential to deliver up to one-third of our needed global GHG emissions reductions by 2030, and up to one-fifth of our national GHG emissions, and increase resilience by increasing soil, river and forest health. For YVSC, creating NCS pathways that work means bringing the people and landscapes of this unique alpine, agricultural and riparian region together through climate action.


What we are doing


Yampa River Forest Restoration Project

Restoring riparian forests along the Yampa River

The Yampa River Forest Restoration Program (YRFRP) was collaboratively launched in 2019 by Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, Colorado State Forest Service, and the City of Steamboat Springs in response to the Yampa River Health Assessment and Streamflow Management Plan. The YRFRP sets to restore riparian forests along the Yampa River. Planting trees has many benefits, it helps sequester carbon from the atmosphere, provides shade to lower water temperature and creates habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife to name a few!

Learn more about the YRFRP

Annual ReTree Event

A community celebration of trees
Each year this event brings together community members of all ages to teach about the many benefits of planting trees and to share in the experience of stewardship. Since 2019, ReTree has been focused on supporting the Yampa River Forest Restoration project by planting and maintaining trees at sites along the Yampa River.

Yampa Valley Climate Crew

Opportunities for community members to support local restoration projects

Yampa Valley Climate Crew connects community members with volunteer projects that directly address climate challenges, so that they can be a part of the climate solution, locally. These projects will include tree planting, wetland and riparian habitat restoration, and site maintenance, all of which increase carbon sequestration and resilience. People of all ages are welcome to participate and give back to the natural landscapes that we all appreciate and receive so much from.

Learn more

Wildfire Mitigation & Education

Supporting the Routt County Wildfire Mitigation Council

The frequency of high-intensity, long-duration wildfires is increasing in our warming and drying intermountain west, causing an array of impacts on air quality, water quality, hydrological regimes (increased drying) and public health. Where we live, how we act and what we know can either increase or mitigate the risk of high-intensity, long-duration wildfires. Helping to sustain high-altitude forests in the Yampa Valley is one of the most important climate actions we can take. YVSC is a leading member of the Routt County Wildfire Mitigation Council supporting projects to help build resilience in our forests and protect our watersheds.

Learn more at the Routt County Wildfire Mitigation Council website

Wetland Restoration

A vital landscape, a valuable climate solution
Wetlands along our rivers and scattered throughout our forests and grasslands provide multiple benefits by sequestering carbon and improving water quality. They also are some of the most productive landscapes to sequester carbon, an important function that can help naturally reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. As soils become drier with warming temperatures, wetlands can help hold water leading to healthier rivers. YVSC is working with partners to design and implement wetland restoration projects on the Yampa River and in upland habitats such as wet meadows in California Park.

What you can do

Volunteer with the Yampa Valley Climate Crew to help plant trees and restore wetlands.

Join our annual ReTree event supporting the Yampa River Forest Restoration Project.