Hickenlooper Promotes Grouse Conservation Program

sage_grouse-300Governor John Hickenlooper, in partnership with conservation groups, industry representatives, and agriculture leaders, has requested recognition by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management to establish the Colorado Habitat Exchange – initially focused on the greater sage-grouse. Hickenlooper says the Exchange will create a new market for voluntary conservation that “will help protect the greater sage-grouse and sustain Colorado’s energy and agriculture economies.” The Colorado Habitat Exchange works to engage ranchers in voluntary conservation efforts by offering financial incentives to create, maintain and improve habitat on their property. Landowners earn conservation credits for these activities, which they can sell to industry to compensate for development, such as roads, oil and gas facilities and other infrastructure that impact species and habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service faces a September 30th deadline to decide whether or not the greater sage-grouse requires protection under the Endangered Species Act.

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