Ranching, farming, and all manner of agriculture activities and operations within and throughout Routt County are integral elements of and necessary for the continued vitality of the county’s history, economy, landscape, lifestyle, and culture. Given their importance to Routt County, Northwestern Colorado, and the State of Colorado, agriculture lands and operations are worthy of recognition and protection.
Colorado is a “Right-to-Farm” state. Landowners, residents, and visitors must be prepared to accept the activities, sights, sounds, and smells of Routt County’s agricultural operations as a normal and necessary aspect of living in a county with a strong rural character and a healthy ranching sector. Those with an urban sensitivity may perceive such activities, sights, sounds, and smells only as inconvenience, eyesore, noise, and odor. However, state law and county policy provide that ranching, farming, or other agriculture activities and operations within Routt County shall not be considered to be nuisances so long as operated in conformance with the law and in a non-negligent manner. Therefore, all must be prepared to encounter noises, odors, lights, mud, dust, smoke, chemicals, machinery on public roads, livestock on public roads, storage and disposal of manure, and the application of spraying or otherwise of chemical fertilizers, soil amendments, herbicides, and pesticides, any one or more of which may naturally occur as part of legal and non-negligent agriculture operations.
In addition, all owners of land, whether ranch or residence, have obligations under state law and county regulation with regard to the maintenance of fences and irrigation ditches, controlling weeds, keeping livestock and pets under control, using property in accordance with zoning, and other aspects of using and maintaining property. Residents and landowners are encouraged to learn about these rights and responsibilities and act as good neighbors and citizens of Routt County. A good source of such information beyond this book is the Colorado State University Extension Office in Routt County. Call (970) 879-0825 for more information.