Steamboat Springs Elaine Gay, the matriarch of a third-generation ranching family in Routt County, is this year's winner of the Hazie Werner Award For Excellence, given to a local woman who has achieved excellence in her field.
"I'm very excited and honored to have been selected to receive this award," Gay said. "To be in the company of such prominent women, who have devoted their lives to making a difference in Routt County, is truly a distinguished honor."
Elaine and her late husband, Bob Gay, founded the Green Creek Ranch 54 years ago in the Pleasant Valley. Their son, Bill, is now in charge of the ranch operations.
Elaine Gay became somewhat of a local public figure in the 1990s when she and her husband spoke out against a plan that originally called for the construction of a large ski resort in the Lake Catamount area.
In 1998 their outspoken opposition to a development that might have brought 10,000 new people to the valley led in part to a 3,296-acre conservation easement surrounding Lake Catamount.
The Gays complemented that by placing a 920-acre conservation easement on their own property.
Today the Green Creek Ranch is one of the few working ranches in Routt County that survives solely on agricultural income.
Elaine Gay will be presented the Hazie Werner Award on Saturday at the 2002 Snowball, an annual fund-raiser being held at the Steamboat Grand Hotel.
This year, Yampatika and the Steamboat Springs Arts Council are the beneficiaries of the event, which includes a dinner and silent and live auctions.
Tickets are still available through the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.