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The Code of the West   arrow

Fetcher Barn near Steamboat Lake

The “Code of the West” has withstood the test of time.

Colorado State University Extension and our partners are here to help you improve your rural lifestyle and maintain the values and views that appeal to you about country living.

Routt County’s diverse landscape creates both challenges and opportunities. Understand the limitations created by the amount of precipitation you receive, the elevation, and the soils on your property to set realistic goals for managing your lifestyle. Have a plan to help you spend more time enjoying your wonderful surroundings and improve the quality of life for your family.

The unwritten Code of the West isn’t so unwritten anymore. It was first documented in 1934 when Zane Grey wrote “The Code of the West.” To this day, the same values of integrity, honesty, stewardship, and self-reliance guide our actions like those rugged individuals who first attempted to settle this land with their families.

Consider that the nearest emergency services may be more than 15 miles away, or that the road you’re driving on today, might be impassible tomorrow. Being prepared for daily life takes on a whole new meaning when you live in a rural area. Recognize that your route to work may be a cow or sheep herding route during certain times of the year when you might literally spend hours counting sheep! These things may be challenges to some folks, but the fact is, this is part of rural living and it’s what likely drew you here in the first place. That and the friendly wave between you and your neighbors as you pass each other on the road each morning. Being neighborly is a two-way street: the fence you help mend today might be good payment for the snow that’s plowed during a fierce blizzard that helps keep your driveway open next winter. Rural residents who come together often have more success as a community than those who go it alone. Working collectively to combat noxious weed infestations will help save money and improve the stewardship of our resources.