Herold family honored for stewardship

South Routt residents named Landowner of the Year at fall festival


— It’s not something they expected.

The Herold family, of South Routt, was recognized as Landowner of the Year at the second Routt County Agriculture Fall Gathering on Sunday. The event was held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

The purpose of the event is to bring together the county’s agriculture community, Routt County Extension Agent CJ Mucklow said.

“It’s business, but it’s an opportunity to socialize with other farmers and ranchers in Routt County,” he said. Mucklow added that although the agriculture industry nationwide and locally is shrinking, it’s still a big part of the county’s identity. “Ag still matters.”

After each of the agriculture groups held their fall meetings, dinner was served and the awards were presented. The Herolds, a South Routt ranching family since the mid-1880s, were recognized for their sage grouse habitat improvement and livestock grazing enhancement project.

The project on the family’s ranch about 1.5 miles north of Yampa, increases water access for livestock and, in turn, benefits the grouse population.

Carl Herold said he and his son, Chip, were involved in a work group that consisted of, among others, the Division of Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Resource Conser­vation Service.

Carl Herold said the work group is one of five in Colorado that is working to assist the grouse population by grass-roots efforts “instead of from the top.” He said they couldn’t have completed the project without the help of the work group participants and others.

“It’s nice. It’s nice to be recognized,” Carl Herold said. “But really, the project for us was quite a bit of fun, actually. We learned something. There was also a lot of hard work involved, don’t get me wrong.”

His wife, Rita, said the project was important because it helped them manage the land at their ranch but benefited the wildlife.

“When you do a project like this, you don’t do it for recognition,” she said.

Liza Rossi, a wildlife conservation biologist for the Division of Wildlife, worked closely with the Herolds on the project.

“They were recognized not just for the project, but for everything they do,” she said. “They’re really active in South Routt and just really wonderful people.”

Other awards also were presented. The Routt County Cat­tleWomen’s Association named Karina Spitzley, of Steam­boat Springs, as Rookie Cattle­woman of the Year. They honored Joan Gibbs, of Oak Creek, as Cattle­­woman of the Year. The Routt County Soil Con­­servation District recognized Ross and Medora Fralick, of Hayden, as Small Acreage Land­­owner of the Year.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203 or e-mail jweinstein@steamboatpilot.com


greenwash 7 years, 5 months ago

Im interested in knowing how many Real ranchers or farmers are left in Routt?....60 acres or less doesnt count.

Also if you are a millionaire and can afford to pay say over $2000 per acre does that make you a rancher ?Even tho you can NEVER pay the ranch off in AG funds?

This is all a ruse except for the few originals left.

35/60 acres means nothing but rural sprall


JusWondering 7 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations to the Herold family. I can think of no one more deserving. Greenwash, I certainly hope that you are not referring to the Herolds as a ruse? They are amongst the pioneers of the Yampa Valley and are Real ranchers... there are more of them than you realize, though admitedly some have sold off to wealthy investors who will never see a profit from agriculture. PS. Did anyone see another South Routt ranch in the new John Fielder book?


greenwash 7 years, 5 months ago

NO Herolds are one of the few real ranchers left.....I was wondering how many more real ones are left.Too many 35 acre dimestore cowboys laying claim to being ranchers.End the ag tax break to those with 60 acres or less.


Krista Monger 7 years, 5 months ago

There are still many "real ranchers" left in routt county. But please don't mistake land ownership as a requirement to be one. There are several ranching families who lease these 35 acre ranchettes to run their cattle on or to put up hay. One of the ways some of the ranching families have been able to exist in our county is to be the stewards of someone else's land. After all, these non-ranch homeowners need someone to give them that ag status.


greenwash 7 years, 5 months ago

Good Point.Then you should prove this to get the break otherwise no deal.Very few 35 acre parcels are worth the hassle.Do you know how many cows you can run on 35 ac.?Haying a 35 ac parcel is barely worth it to most "raanchers".Its a scam.But I agree there are some out there that are legit....but most are not.I know of 5 acre parcels taking ag credit.End it or manage it.And many doesnt mean much.


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