Community Agriculture Alliance: Land Stewardship Course Coming September 10

Stewardship, by definition, is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources.

When it comes to owning property and land in Routt County, it is essential that all landowners understand the importance of integrated land stewardship. As our community continues to grow, it is every landowner’s responsibility to take care of their land, water and property while understanding the connectedness of their actions.

And thinking about the larger context of our community, we have a legacy of stewardship of the land not only for today but also for future generations. Using strategies and techniques for an integrated systems approach to land stewardship enables landowners to adopt holistic practices. Learning more about Routt County’s unique ecosystem is one way to honor our farmland heritage and sustain it into the future.

Since 2004, Community Agriculture Alliance and CSU Routt County Extension have partnered to deliver the Land Stewardship Course in our community. The course is based on the curriculum of the “Living on the Land – Stewardship for Small Areas” courses produced by the Western States Cooperative Extensions.

This year’s course is an advanced 200-level course with more in-depth course content and discussions with local experts. The one-day intensive focuses on the systems approach of “integrated systems” to land management.

The course is open to anyone in the community who wants to learn more with a focus on landowners. Additionally, real estate professionals who complete the course can earn up to seven continuing education credits.

Course topics include the following:

• A sense of place – historical perspective of the Yampa Valley

• Soil and grass stewardship, including noxious weed management strategies

• Water stewardship with guest speakers on water administration, water law, river health issues and irrigation practices

• Livestock stewardship

• Forest fire mitigation and wildlife stewardship

• Routt County Planning and Local Resources

• Systems thinking for land management

The one-day course is offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on September 10 at the Legacy Ranch in Steamboat Springs. For more information on registration and course fees, visit or contact Michele Meyer at 970-879-4370.

One of the common reasons people often visit and settle in the Yampa Valley is its natural beauty. Scenic landscapes and open spaces are an essential part of the fabric of the community.

Hay fields, cattle or horse grazing are idyllic and much appreciated. These working landscapes come from landowners and active farming and should not be taken for granted. We need to support and value both land and community stewardship.

Michele Meyer is the executive director of the Community Agriculture Alliance.

Denise W. Whigham