Steamboat Springs County offices may lack some of their usual bustle this week.
Many Routt County employees vacated their desks Monday morning to attend an annual seminar that brings together county employees and officials from counties throughout the state for a few days of networking, brainstorming and sharing ideas.
The Colorado Counties, Inc. Summer Conference at the Vail Cascade Resort provides county commissioners and county employees in various departments, such as health human services and road and bridge, with opportunities to jointly address pertinent issues faced by counties across the state.
County Commissioner Dan Ellison said the conference would offer representatives of Routt County a look at ways other counties deal with similar problems.
"It helps us to get some idea of what other counties are doing," Ellison said.
People who attend the conference quickly realize that problems are not isolated in one county, he said.
Attendees come away with better solutions to dilemmas, he added.
Ellison speculated that the fires raging throughout Colorado would no doubt be a huge topic of discussion.
Gov. Bill Owens, the keynote speaker for the conference, will address the audience Tuesday morning on counties' role in building a better future for Colorado.
He plans to touch on the transportation legislation he recently promoted and signed into law, as well as the state's budget and the necessity of fire and drought response.
Another key element in the conference, Ellison said, would be a session on the disappearance of family ranches in Colorado.
John Ikerd, a professor emeritus at the University of Missouri Columbia and recognized expert on sustainable agriculture, will answer questions on the importance of family ranches to society and its food supply and ways to ensure the future survival of family ranches.
During the conference, districts comprised of counties in the state would meet to discuss issues facing their region.
Routt County belongs to the Western District, which includes more than a dozen districts that run from Moffat County in the north to Durango County in the south.
Legislators will be on hand to give county commissioners an overview of the legislative session and how certain decisions would impact counties across Colorado.
Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar, as well as several cabinet heads in the state, will also address conference participants.
County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said she and the other commissioners looked forward to taking away a wide cross-section of information from the conference.
The four-day seminar concludes Thursday, and county employees and officials will return to Steamboat Springs Thursday afternoon.