DECEMBER 5, 2017 BY 

A letter from Sarah Jones, YVSC Executive Director

Dear Friend of the environment,

Winter is almost here, and I can’t wait! But, my anticipation is tempered with nagging worries about climate trends: Will it be a short winter? Will the snowpack be enough to support our world-class winter recreation and the water needs of our valley? Are Steamboat’s legendary snow years becoming a thing of the past?

Are you worried, too?

In Colorado, temperatures have increased 2ºF since 1977. We are already seeing the impacts of this climate change locally—shorter snow season length, earlier spring run-off, hotter, drier summers, and the resulting drought and wildfires. The high-mountain environment that we all love is clearly more vulnerable now than ever before.

It’s up to all of us to defend the pure air, clean water, serene forests and legendary snow that make the Yampa Valley such a special place. We need to act NOW!

Supporting our work is one of the most effective things you can do to ensure the Yampa Valley you treasure is protected for generations to come. When you donate to Yampa Valley Sustainability Council (YVSC), you’ll play a key role in advancing local climate action.

Although environmental protection on the national level may be daunting, we CAN still make positive change in the Yampa Valley. YVSC is inspiring residents and visitors to live more sustainably and act locally to preserve our natural resources and fight climate change.

Your donation will support YVSC’s results-driven programs that are guided by the triple bottom line of sustainability—or the three Es:


YVSC’s ReTree Steamboat restores native ecosystems through tree-planting and stewardship. Trees create habitat, support clean water and healthy soil, and draw carbon from the atmosphere, helping mitigate climate impacts.


In 2015, YVSC initiated a community-supported fund for energy-efficiency rebates. In 2017, we distributed 291 Cen$ible Energy rebates to YVEA utility members, which resulted in $166,830 going into the local economy through spending on energy-efficient products and services. 


With the cost of living in Routt County the fifth highest in the state, social equity for all residents is critical for a resilient and thriving community.

Utility costs make up a significant portion of a low-income family’s monthly budget, especially in a home that is leaky or has inefficient heating. Through our CARE and new Jump Start programs, YVSC provides energy efficiency home upgrades to low-income families. The results: more comfortable and safer homes AND lower utility bills.

These are just a few of the ways YVSC is helping our entire community. The reason YVSC can do so much is because of people like you supporting us.

But, we’ve never seen threats to our environment like the ones we’re seeing now. Every day matters and so does every dollar. Will you help us step up our efforts to respond to the growing urgency to protect our environment?

For the past nine years, YVSC has been on the ground working to preserve all that we cherish about the Yampa Valley (oftentimes literally—digging holes to plant seedling trees). We aren’t looking for a short-term, quick fix.

We’re here for the long haul, to lead our community in the fight against climate change and make resource conservation the norm for everyone in Routt County. Please help us do the hard work to create a more sustainable community.

Whether it’s green building workshops, a food waste reduction challenge, one-on-one coaching on energy efficiency or the popular Community Recycling Drop-Off, YVSC is providing education, tools, resources and service projects for people of all ages. We’re also advocating for local policies that protect the natural resources that are the bedrock of our environment, our economy and our tight-knit community.

YVSC is guided by the belief that sustainability is a community project. We’re all in this together,  and YVSC needs your generous support more than ever. Please donate online now.

With you by our side, we can keep leading the way on local climate action in homes, businesses, schools and local governments. Will you partner with YVSC to leave a legacy of a healthy planet, and a healthy Yampa Valley, for future generations?

Forever thankful,

Sarah B. Jones, Executive Director

P.S. Colorado Gives Day is December 5. Incentive funds boost the value of every dollar you donate. Join this local philanthropic movement by donating on 12/5/17 at

P.P.S. YVSC’s A – Z Recycling Guide has year-round local options for hard-to-recycle items including electronics, paint, light bulbs and more. Check out the guide at