Our View: Community Indicators Project a worthwhile effort


Editorial Board, February 2009 through May 2009

  • Suzanne Schlicht, general manager
  • Brent Boyer, editor
  • Mike Lawrence, city editor
  • Tom Ross, reporter
  • Paul Hughes, community representative
  • Gail Smith, community representative

Contact the editorial board at (970) 871-4221 or editor@steamboatpilot.com. Would you like to be a member of the board? Fill out a letter of interest now.

Last weekend's publication of the Community Indicators Project was no small feat, and it's certainly not something that should go unnoticed by residents of Northwest Colorado.

The 68-page magazine is a treasure trove of information about economic, environmental, civic and social trends in our valley. Using statistics compiled from hundreds of data sources, Yampa Valley Partners once again has assembled a report that should be required reading for anyone who cares about Northwest Colorado.

Since 1996, the nonprofit Yampa Valley Partners has published a Community Indicators Project about every two years. Yampa Valley Partners' stated mission is to support the development of healthy communities in Routt and Moffat counties by fostering communication, cooperation and collaboration. Indeed, the Community Indicators Project emphasizes the interdependence of the communities in Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. Consider some of the following statistics cited in the latest report:

- Routt County's population has increased 66 percent since 1990, compared to 24 percent for Moffat County and 8 percent for Rio Blanco County. It is anticipated that Routt County's population will double by 2035.

- Northwest Colorado's population is trending older, and that especially is true in Routt County, where more people are moving as a result of a lifestyle choice.

- The self-suffiency annual wage for a single adult in Routt County is $22,361, or an hourly wage of $10.59. The self-sufficiency annual wage for a family of four (two adults, one preschool-age child and one school-age child) is $61,490. That means the two adults in the household must have hourly wages that combine to $29.12.

- The number of Routt County child care facilities and their capacity has remained relatively unchanged since 1997, while the number of births and school enrollment has increased.

- Migration to Routt County in 2007 brought an overall economic gain of $23.5 million, compared to $900,000 in Moffat County and $400,000 in Rio Blanco County.

- Routt County exported $47.1 million in earnings in 2006 to workers who commute from outside the county. Moffat County, on the other hand, imported $62 million in earnings.

- Average daily traffic counts have increased 40 percent in the Yampa Valley since 1990. Regional bus ridership has nearly quadrupled since 1995.

- Steamboat Springs' air quality has improved significantly since 1990 as a result of city and county efforts to reduce wood and coal burning and improvements in street sanding and cleaning.

- Yampa Valley residents generated nearly 65,000 tons of waste in 2006, or about 7 pounds per person, per day. The recycling rate in the Yampa Valley was 4.9 percent in 2006.

This is just a taste of the data included in the new Community Indicators Project, a copy of which was included in Sunday's Steamboat Pilot & Today. A PDF of the document will be available at Yampa Valley Partners, and additional copies of the magazine are available at various locations in Steamboat Springs, including City Hall. Residents also can call 970-824-1133 to request a copy.

Audrey Danner and Yampa Valley Partners' board of directors are to be commended for the compilation and publication of an outstanding resource for Northwest Colorado residents. Kudos as well to the Community Indicators Project team of Danner, James Fulks, Scott Ford, Stacey Kramer and Jennifer Mapes. We hope their work is given the attention it deserves.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.