Thank You State of Colorado and Governor for Protecting Wildlife!

picture of Gunnison Sage Grouse

Thank You State of Colorado and Governor for Protecting Wildlife!

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has adopted a groundbreaking model for energy development after months of public involvement. On November 23, the COGCC—the state board that approves drilling permits and regulates the oil and gas industry—finalized a rulemaking process that amended its permitting regulations as part of the agency’s extraordinary change in mission.

Colorado Senate Bill 181 changed the agency’s mission from facilitating oil and gas development to regulating it in a manner that protects health, safety, and the environment, including wildlife. These significant changes to the law are groundbreaking and set Colorado as a national leader in holistic energy planning.

Some bird protections include:

  • High priority habitats (HPHs) for select species to breed, nest, forage, and migrate.
  • Use of fences and nets on open pits to protect birds and bats during oil and gas site operations.
  • Nesting and migratory bird surveys prior to vegetation removal.
  • A broader consultation role for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Read more about the process, outcomes, and additional wildlife protections that come from this important change at Audubon Rockies article, “New Protections for Wildlife in Colorado’s Energy Future.”