Friday, May 15, 2015

DENVER – Friday, May 15, 2015 – Gov. John Hickenlooper today issued an Executive Order directing state agencies to take further conservation measures for the greater sage grouse.

Hickenlooper directed state agencies to take a number of actions designed to reduce impacts to the sage grouse and its habitat. Those include: increasing coordination with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, launching a market-based habitat exchange, taking inventory of - and improving habitat within - state lands with grouse populations and strengthening the role of the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

“Our actions, in conjunction with the efforts of our local governments, landowners and many others to protect the greater sage grouse, have been extensive,” Hickenlooper said. “With this Executive Order we are directing our state agencies and our partners to do even more to protect this treasured species.

“We firmly believe that state-led efforts are the most effective way to protect and conserve the greater sage grouse and its habitat. Conversely, a decision by the federal government to list the greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act would have a significant and detrimental economic impact to the state, as well as threaten the very state-led partnerships that are working to protect the species,” Hickenlooper added.

In the EO, the governor cites steps such as “facilitating better coordination among state agencies, more detailed record keeping, a complete inventory of SLB lands, developing a tracking system for oil and gas development in habitat, reviewing the state’s 1200-series rules, and creating a market-driven habitat exchange program” as directives that will further strengthen the protection of Colorado’s greater sage-grouse. The full Executive Order is attached to this press release.

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