Locals 2012: Richard Tremaine | SteamboatToday.com

Locals 2012: Richard Tremaine

Richard Tremaine

Richard Tremaine likes to get his hands dirty.

In the literal sense, that defines much of his free time, whether it's spent at his Steamboat Springs home or his North Routt cabin.

A tour around his house showcases what this means. He points to projects left and right, explaining the details of the garden he and his wife, Judy, maintain. He's in charge of the potatoes and the garlic, but the fenced-off plot overflows with strawberries and other produce. A small greenhouse bristles with flowers and, a true test of any mountain-town gardener, tomatoes.

"That's an ongoing learning experience," he says. "We had a garden back in Virginia, and that was easy."

There's a large playhouse in back that he built for the grandchildren, but that pales in comparison to the North Routt cabin, which he and his wife also built themselves.

It wasn't easy, he confesses, but for him, there was no other way.

Richard, 64, doesn't mind getting dirty at his day job as a local attorney, either, taking on the cases of concerned citizens. Moving in 1988 from the high-speed legal world of Washington, D.C., to the slower-paced world of Steamboat Springs took some adjustment. His first case was helping a group of citizens oppose a proposed Walmart.

"One of the first things I did was sue the city and the city council," he says, laughing as he recalls how sheriff's deputies were sent to serve the council members and the grief that move still can bring upon him from those same council members, many of them now longtime friends.

Richard, who has one son in town, eventually served on the Steamboat Springs City Council in 1993, helping craft the community plan.

He's fought similar fights throughout the years, his tactics changing as he learned the community. He's served with the Community Agriculture Alliance and Yampa Valley Land Trust.

One of his most recent cases proves that not everything has changed, that he still likes to get his hands dirty: He took on the ultimately successful case to keep hunting restrictions in place for sandhill cranes.