Officials plant tree in honor of Earth Day

'Earth Day really is every day'

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Cold rain and snow Thursday afternoon didn't exactly provide a warm welcome for U.S. Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth, who made the Earth Day visit to Steamboat Springs from Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

"It's a Rocky Mountain spring day; you can't beat it," Forest Service Public Affairs Specialist Dianne Ritschard said, as rain fell at Yampa River Botanic Park.

Ritschard, Bosworth, Hahns Peak/Bears Ears District Ranger Kim Vogel, and several other officials from the Forest Service, Routt County and city of Steamboat Springs joined at the Botanic Park to plant a 4-foot Douglas fir atop Gore Pass in honor of Earth Day.

"We never turn down a tree," Yampa River Botanic Park Supervisor Gayle Nooman said.

"We know Earth Day is important to you, and it's important to us," Bosworth told Nooman, after planting the tree with the help of Routt County Emergency Management Chief Chuck Vale and Steamboat Springs City Council President Paul Strong.

"Earth Day has a lot of influence as a grass-roots way to bring people together to think about the environment."

Bosworth and many officials from the Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Region -- which covers Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota -- also were in Steamboat Springs on Wednesday for a "supervisory essence and leadership training" workshop.

"It's important for people to meet our leaders," said Rick Cables, director of the Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Region. "We're a decentralized organization so (that) these small community leaders can make decisions, so seeing what makes you tick is a good thing."

Cables commended the people of the Yampa Valley on their Earth Day efforts, saying that its residents seem to keep environmental preservation a priority.

"I know it's kind of cliche, but Earth Day really is every day," Cables said. "Our job is to take care of these lands for future generations, and being able to use the land and sustain it at the same time is a huge value to society."

-- To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com

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