About Sonja Macys



2001 M.S. in Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism 

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.

1997 B.A. in Anthropology, Environmental Studies minor

James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Professional Certificates

Credentialed Cooperative Director, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, 2019 

Fundamental Level, MUNIversity, Colorado Municipal League, 2019

Non-Profit Leadership and Management, Community Resource Center, 2010. University of Wisconsin, 2001 

Past Boards and Committees

As a Steamboat Springs City Council Member, I represented the City on The Yampa River Fund Board, The Area Plan Coordinating Committee, the City Water Team, the Fire Oversight Committee and Wildland Fire Policy Board, the Colorado Local Resilience Project, the Colorado Municipal League’s Policy Committee, and First Impressions of Routt County

Resource Advisory Committee Member, Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests

Advisory Committee Member, Colorado Mountain College, Sustainability Studies 

Chair and Chair-Elect, NW Colorado Environmental Education Leadership Council

Legacy Partnership Committee Member, Environmental Education Seat

Steering Committee Member, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Partners in the Outdoors

Board Member, Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education


Women who Rock the Boat, Steamboat Magazine

Audubon Conservation Leadership Award, Arizona Audubon Council, Phoenix, AZ.

Congressional Commendation, Honorable Congressman Raul Grijalva, Washington, DC.

James Madison University, “Be the Change,” Harrisonburg, VA.

Inside Tucson Business, “40 under 40,” Tucson, AZ.

In 2006, I was drawn to the Yampa Valley, to spend a winter as a ski bum. However, I quickly recognized there was so much more than just skiing. Routt County offered a lifestyle that integrated the outdoors into every aspect of life – I could live near some of the country’s best public lands and commute to work alongside the last major free flowing river in the Colorado River Basin, the Yampa River. I was hooked. 

My stint as a ski bum was short lived. In 2008, I became Executive Director of Yampatika and successfully led the non-profit for eight years. We developed an environmental literacy program that grew to reach every elementary school in Routt County, gaining recognition for Routt County at the state and national level and allowing every child in Routt County to connect with the outdoors as a part of their curriculum. That work took me to North Routt, South Routt, and Hayden where I learned about the unique aspects across all parts of Routt County.

Securing a long-term lease at the Legacy Ranch, I helped build the Yampa Valley’s first environmental learning center. To this day, people of all ages can visit The Environmental Learning Center at Legacy Ranch and experience Routt County’s deep agricultural roots. 

My passion for public policy led me to a successful run for Steamboat Springs City Council in 2011. I’m proud that I became known for a commitment to transparency, fiscal discipline, and good governance. My background in natural resource management quickly led to a strong, guiding voice on water resources, the Yampa River, and climate action. I briefly stepped away to take a regional position with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, returning to Council for a second term in 2017. 

Like so many other people in Routt County, I have juggled multiple jobs to make living here possible.  Currently I’m working as an Engineering Technician for the Colorado Division of Water Resources and slinging bags for United at the Hayden Airport. There I served for three years as Shop Steward for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers trade union.  

I’ve always been a staunch advocate for working people and understand the need for affordable housing, transit, broadband and childcare. 

Prior to moving to Steamboat Springs, I lived in Tucson, Arizona serving as Executive Director of the Tucson Audubon Society. I was recognized by the Arizona Audubon Society and the Honorable Congressman Raúl Grijalva for my contributions to collaborative conservation in Southeastern Arizona and across the border into Mexico. I also helped develop Pima County’s Regional Transportation Authority, which continues to see strong success through today.

My husband, Chuck Willard, and I live in Steamboat Springs. But the south valley is near and dear to our hearts. We were engaged on the South Shore of Stagecoach, married at High Meadows Ranch on Lynx Pass, and some day we hope to build a sustainable home on our lot at South Shore. 

Through my professional associations, I have worked with, and come to love, all of Routt County. As your Routt County Commissioner, I will listen to all Routt County residents and represent your interests.