CAP Intern Isabella Cecchi investigates communication for climate action

Isabella Cecchi, a Rollins College Environmental Studies senior interning with the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, spent the summer exploring how to boost climate action engagement among 18-40 year-olds in the Yampa Valley. She focused her summer internship on forming effective communication strategies and identifying barriers and credible messaging for this demographic.

The outcome of her research underscores the importance of connecting messages to cultural values, understanding language nuances, and avoiding alarmism. Isabella's research also highlights the success of recent initiatives like the Routt County Climate Action Plan Collaborative's Public Open House that helped foster community discussion on climate action.

Read More: Connecting With a New Audience

Each month we highlight a climate win/news item and action you can take across the CAP's five sectors. Celebrating our successes and steps taken will help us move the CAP forward together as a community. If you have a climate win or action you would like to share, please email

Climate News

Are you eligible? Some U.S. consumers will have access to rebates for heat pumps and other high-efficiency electrical appliances by the end of the year. States can now submit applications to the federal government to oversee the allocation of over $8.5 billion in Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding.

For consumers, these rebates could be the difference between an affordable home upgrade and one that remains financially unattainable. The incentives include an $8,000 rebate designated for Energy Start heat pumps capable of both heating and cooling residences. This amount could offset approximately 50% of the installation expenses for specific systems.

Additionally, for Energy Star appliances, there is a $1,750 rebate allocated for heat pump water heaters, $840 cashback for induction stoves and heat pump clothes dryers, and a $4,000 rebate for upgrades to electrical systems. Colorado residents could begin seeing these rebates as early as the beginning of 2024.

Read More: CNET Article

Action You Can Take


Routt County is currently updating its Zoning Code and Subdivision Regulations to reflect the vision and goals of the recently adopted Master Plan. This will ensure that the County's future growth and built environment are reflective of the community's vision and available resources.

The first module is now available for public review and input and covers important areas like Renewable Energy Related Sections, Code Introduction, and Agencies.

Your input is crucial to ensure the new regulations align with community needs and CAP Energy Recommendations.

Review the Module & Provide Feedback

Climate Win


A team of over 20 Yampa Valley Climate Crew volunteers put CAP Land Use Recommendation 2 into action by supporting the restoration of wet meadows in California Park. Once a well-traveled cattle route, California Park is home to important carbon sequestering, plant-diverse habitat. Wet meadows store and gradually release water - benefiting plant variety, enhancing soil moisture and drought resilience, and supporting wildlife habitat such as sandhill cranes, boreal toads and greater sage-grouse.

However, trails formed through these meadows disrupt the landscape and water flow, causing erosion and loss of wetland vegetation. Using a low-tech restoration technique of literally stacking stones to build features called Zeedyk Structures, volunteers helped the landscape retain water, which will naturally recover over time.

A great example of Routt County residents putting climate priorities into action!

Read More: 'Yampa Valley Bugle'

Action You Can Take

Get your hands dirty! Summer may be wrapping up, but there is still time to volunteer with the Yampa Valley Climate Crew. All ages and abilities are welcome.


Dates: September 7-9

Location: Silver Creek Fire site


Date: September 30, 2023

Location: Meyring Ranch

Date: October 7, 2023

Location: Carpenter Ranch

Contact with any questions.

Sign up to Volunteer


The Colorado State Forest Service is now accepting applications for the Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program. Eligible applicants include community groups, homeowner associations, utilities, and non-profit organizations. The grant program supports projects aimed at strategically reducing wildfire risk to property, infrastructure, and water supplies while fostering forest health through scientifically backed forestry practices. Applications are accepted until October 18, 2023, with assistance available from local CSFS Field Offices.

Submit Your Application

YVSC, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and technical expert Sean Conner discuss the principles underlying Zeedyk structure. Note the incised stream that they will restore to increase wet meadow habitat, benefitting both sage-grouse habitat and climate.

Climate News

Colorado is making a substantial bet on electric vehicles, offering discounts up to $13,500. When combined with additional rebates and credits, a new plug-in car buyer could save an astonishing $26,500. Although various rebates and credits have distinct qualifications, they collectively incentivize EV adoption. The state's goal is to have nearly one million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.

The new program, that began in August, aims to further encourage low- to medium-income residents to switch from older gas vehicles by combining several tactics including new tax incentives and a vehicle exchange program. 

Climate Win

The City of Steamboat Springs doubled the current EV charging capacity at the Howelsen Rodeo Complex with the installation of three new charging ports. A Charge Ahead Colorado grant through the Colorado Energy Office paid $27,000 or 80% of the project costs.

Over the past year, the city's charging ports have seen more than 3,600 charging sessions. A dozen new dual charging ports are included for future plans and will service the new City Hall, downtown Fire Station and 10th Street.

All of these efforts get us a step closer to meeting a primary CAP Transportation goal - 20% of registered Routt County vehicles be electric by 2030 and 95% by 2050.

Action You Can Take


Routt County, the City of Steamboat Springs, and the City of Craig are collaboratively examining the potential advantages of establishing a Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) for the Yampa Valley. Once voter endorsed, a RTA has the authority to design, fund, execute, and manage a regional transportation system encompassing transit, cycling, walking, roads, air travel and railways.

Learn more about how a RTA can help you by attending an upcoming open house next month and sharing your RTA transportation priorities.

Learn More & Share your Input


EV Ride and Drive

Date: Sunday, October 8 (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

Location: Howelson Hill

EV Converted Shuttle Ride and Drive

Date: Tuesday, October 10 (10 a.m. - 1 p.m.)

Location: Howelson Hill


EV Charger Workshop for Business, Workplace, and Multifamily Applications

Date: Monday, October 23 (12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.)

Location: Centennial Hall

Interested in learning about workplace EV charging sooner? Contact Paul Bony ( to sign up for an EV workplace charging on-site visit.

The City of Steamboat Springs, in partnership with YVSC and Colorado-based Lightning Motors, hosted an EV Shuttle Ride and Drive event last April. Fleet managers had the opportunity to test drive a Lightning ZEV Zero Emissions Class 4 Shuttle Bus and learn how electric vehicles can work for their businesses. October's EV shuttle event will focus on converted EV shuttles.

Climate News


The Tread of Pioneers is turning trash and recycling receptacles into historical canvas art around town. While enjoying murals featuring downtown's historical buildings, events and development stories, hopefully people will take a moment to reflect on proper waste disposal and what it takes to keep Yampa Valley the unique place it is.

Find all 23 trash and recycling receptacles along Lincoln Ave/US 40 from 3rd to 13th street. A fun and creative way of combining history and environmental consciousness!

Action You Can Take


The Routt County Department of Environmental Health is hosting its annual household hazardous waste drop off event in October. Please note there will be a cost associated with discarding materials.

Date: Saturday, October 7 (8 a.m. - 12 p.m.)

Location: Steamboat Middle School


The City of Steamboat Springs is seeking volunteers who are interested in coordinating with their neighbors to improve recycling in their community. Contact Alicia Archibald with any questions.

Become an Ambassador

Climate Win

Yampa Valley Regional Airport (YVRA) and the Routt County Climate Action Plan Fund have teamed up with The Good Traveler program to enable residents and visitors to voluntarily mitigate their air travel emissions to and from YVRA via mileage-based donations.

These contributions support LOCAL climate projects through the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, spanning habitat restoration, waste reduction, renewable energy adoption, and climate-friendly transport.

Learn More and Donate!

Climate Win

A year after its launch, the Colorado Green Business Network of the Yampa Valley is excited to celebrate its first Bronze-certified members:

To achieve Bronze-level certification, each business needed to earn at least 25 points during the application process. Points are awarded for resource reduction practices and policies that include energy, water, waste and purchasing, and transportation as well as for projects and policies that support community engagement and outreach.

In addition to lessoning their environmental impact and advancing economic sustainability for their businesses, our certified members are setting an example here in the Valley, while attracting customers looking to support businesses pursuing sustainability goals.

Interested in learning more about the free CGBN-YV program and joining this engaged and inspiring community? Please reach out to Ashley Dean ( with any questions.

CGBN Green Business Specialist, Oakley Jennings-Fast (left) with Cowgirl Compost CO owner, Winn Cowman (right), at a recent visit to Cowman's composting site in Hayden.

We’d love your help getting the word out about the CAP Collaborative. Please share this newsletter with your friends and encourage them to sign up to stay informed. Continue the conversation on Facebook and Instagram, and email us at



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