Environmental news: Colorado’s wildlife plan gets federal approval | SummitDaily.com

Environmental news: Colorado’s wildlife plan gets federal approval

Revised state wildlife plan approved

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved Colorado’s updated State Wildlife Action Plan on Wednesday, March 30.

The revised action plan identifies and prioritizes at-risk species and habitats while also outlining conservation efforts that help protect and conserve these species of concern. The plan is intended to build consensus and collaboration, and was nearly two years in the making with conservation groups, private landowners, and federal, state and municipal agencies.

“The State Wildlife Action Plan is an important conservation planning tool for resource and land managers,” Bob Brosheid, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), through a news release. “This revision ensures we are working with the most up-to-date and scientifically-sound information regarding Colorado habitats and wildlife.”

Approval of the action plan by the national Fish and Wildlife Service provides CPW access to $1 million in state wildlife grants for programs that benefit these at-risk species. Among many others, those species include: the Gunnison sage-grouse, black-footed ferrets, Colorado River cutthroat trout.

CPW revises the state’s action plan once a decade, as mandated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This strategic blueprint employs a regional approach to conservation — one that takes into consideration the complexity inherent to unique landscapes and ecosystems.

This comprehensive review also includes two components not included in the 2006 action plan: addressing climate change vulnerability and an assessment on the conservation of plants. The action plan is not a regulatory document, but does inform conservation priorities.

To view the newly-approved State Wildlife Action Plan, follow this link to CPW’s website: http://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/StateWildlifeActionPlan.aspx.

A Colorado-Isreal water summit in Denver

The Jewish National Fund hosted its first-ever Colorado-Israel Water Summit in Denver on Tuesday, March 29, with more than 300 residents taking part to discuss the water challenges facing the state.

More than 300 attendees, including Gov. John Hickenlooper, learned how techniques developed in Israel could help alleviate Colorado’s water needs. Gov. Hickenlooper shared his vision for mitigating the state’s water issues during his afternoon remarks.

Israel once faced a similar water crisis to Colorado’s. Rapid population growth and a growing agricultural economy required more water than was available through natural resources. Through techniques like drip irrigation and the world’s largest desalination program, Israel turned its water problems into a surplus and now serves as a global model for successful water management.

“If we are going to solve our water problems,” said author and keynote speaker Seth M. Siegel, “we still need all hands to help. United Water and Sanitation District and Netafim have proven ideas and methods, which can be a model for addressing our water concerns.”

The summit sponsors were Drs. Toby and Mort Mower, irrigation company Netafim, and the United Water and Sanitation District. Aside from Gov. Hickenlooper and Siegel, featured speakers included former Gov. Bill Ritter, Israeli Consul for Political Affairs Yaki Lopez and Drew Damiano, the United Water and Sanitation District’s vice president of operations.

Participants at the summit learned how Israel has increased its total water supply by 12 percent, and become a leader in the world on water reuse. They also walked away equipped with the knowledge necessary to converse about local and global water issues, and the technology Israel employs to alleviate them.

—Compiled by Kevin Fixler

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