1. Recovering America's Wildlife Act-- will work to pass in the next session of Congress. Stay tuned for action requests.
Background: bill introduced in Congress (December 2017) and in the Senate (July 17, 2018). This bill (H.R. 4647) is essential to help address Colorado's species of greatest conservation needs in the State Wildlife Action Plan. The source of revenue for this bill is royalties from offshore and onshore energy development - not taxpayer dollars. See News item on the homepage for information. Representative Tipton and former Representative Polis (now Governor) were co-sponsors of this bill. We thank them. There were 116 House co-sponsors.
2. Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)-- expired September 30. Unfortunately, the public lands package was noted voted on in the Senate December 19. The next step is to work to pass it early in the next session of Congress. LWCF has been an important part of Colorado's conservation and outdoor recreation landscape for several decades. It has provided $268 million to help conserve some of Colorado's most special open spaces, improve access to several national parks such as Rocky Mountain National Park and national forests such as White River National Forest, and is essential to help fund non-motorized trails and state and local parks. It is funded with royalties from offshore energy development - not by taxpayer dollars. Senators Bennet and Gardner strongly support reauthorization. On the House side, co-sponsors of H.R. 502 reauthorization with permanent, dedicated funding were Representatives Coffman DeGette, Perlmutter and Governor-elect Polis and Rep. Tipton dded his support. For more information about LWCF, see News item on the homepage.
3. Greater Sage Grouse - Colorado public comment period ended August 2. THANK YOU FOR SUBMITTING IN IMPRESSIVE NUMBER OF COMMENTS to BLM. The Final Environmental Impact Statement - Colorado plan - was released in early December. A major problem is that 224,200 acres that were closed to leasing would be open subject to a no-surface-occupancy requirement. But, counties now would be able to may make recommendations to BLM if they want the requirement waived or modified for a parcel that BLM intends to lease. This means Colorado Parks and Wildlife must monitor very closely.
4. South Park lands managed by BLM -- We are expecting the draft environmental impact statement to be issued early 2019 for lands BLM manages in eastern Colorado and to also address the landscape level in South Park. BLM had issued preliminary alternatives in March 2017 for managing these public lands in South Park. When the draft doc is issued there will be an important public comment period . Stay tuned.