Colorado

WELC Partners in First-Ever North American Wildlife Crossing Structure Design Competition

Vail Pass SignWestern Environmental Law Center is an instrumental partner in the first-ever North American Wildlife Crossing Structure Design Competition. 

Public Opposition Halts "Village" at Wolf Creek Once Again

In 2008 an agreement was signed between conservationists Colorado Wild and the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, the US Forest Service and developer Red McCombs requiring an analysis of the environmental impacts of a 10,000 person "Village" at Wolf Creek. In 2006, WELC filed a lawsuit questioning the impact of two proposed roads across public lands without knowing the impact upon the local communities and the Wolf Creek ecosystem.

Wildlife On The Move

10/18/2010
New Legislation sets "Wildlife Crossing Zones" to protect drivers and wildlife

It’s that time again – Colorado wildlife are on the move! They are migrating to wintering habitats and that unfortunately leads to higher incidents of wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs). Each fall, a group of organizations* come together to for the “Wildlife on the Move” message to motorists statewide:  be aware, drive with caution and slow down, especially at night, when the majority of WVCs occur.

Landowners Partner Together to Protect the San Juan to Rio Grande Landscape

10/18/2010
New “Chama Peak Landowner Alliance” Launched

A visionary, bold, and proactive group of 14 conservation-minded private landowners are coming together today to publically launch their commitment to reach across traditional property boundaries and address common land management issues in the southern San Juan Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico. The Chama Peak Landowner Alliance (“Alliance”) represents approximately 200,000 acres from the headwaters of the Navajo River in southern Archuleta County, Colorado to the Conejos River system, Brazos headwaters and Rio Nutrias in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico.

Visionary New Mexicans, Coloradoans Join Forces in Protecting 1 Million Acres

10/15/2010

What: Take a field tour of the 3,500 acre Chromo Mountain Ranch that spans the Colorado-New Mexico Border while A visionary, bold, and proactive group of 14 conservation-minded private landowners come together on October 18th to publically launch their commitment to reach across traditional property boundaries and address common land management issues in the southern San Juan Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico.

Highway 82 slowing for wildlife

9/09/2010
Crossing mountain highways should be a little safer for wildlife thanks to a new Colorado law.

Surrounded by sponsors Rep. Kathleen Curry  and Sen. Gail Schwartz, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed Wildlife Crossing Zones Traffic Safety Bill, or HB 1238, into law at Vail's Donovan Pavilion in June.

The law requires drivers to slow down or risk doubled fines in zones where wildlife cross highways, much like construction zones. Up to 100 miles of highway across the state can be designated for lowered nighttime speeds, plus there will be designated Wildlife Corridors where speeds aren't lowered.

Fighting Greenhouse Gas Pollution from Industrial Operations

One thing the West is known for: Our clean air. But we have to work to keep it that way. Industrial operations with their heavy machinery are also a part of the West, and these need to be looked at carefully as we consider how to reduce greenhouse gases.

Promoting Renewable Energy with Companies, Nonprofits, Schools, and Communities

In May of 2010, we joined with the other nearly 50 companies, nonprofits, school districts, and municipal agencies to help found the Voluntary Renewable Energy Coalition. Our membership in this coalition exemplifies our wide-ranging work out of the courtroom to join with like-minded people to support next-generation energy laws and policies that will speed our transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean, renewable, carbon-free energy. As a member of this coalition, we support three basic principles.

Protecting New Mexico and Colorado’s Mountain Highlands in a Warming World

The Mountain Highlands of New Mexico and Colorado are an iconic landscape of still-intact wildlands, wildlife migratory corridors for mule deer and elk, and long-standing farms and communities.

But this is a landscape at risk, facing the growing impact of

Ensuring Sufficient Water Supply for the Colorado River

The Department of Interior has issued its “shortage” plan for dealing with drought in the Colorado River basin.  The problem is that it is based on overly-optimistic precipitation forecasts, ignoring evidence of past drought as well as global warming.  This means that the river and its habitat including the Grand Canyon will suffer in drought years when little water is left in the river.  WELC is challenging this plan based on unscientific assumptions, to ensure that there will always be a vibrant Colorado River and Grand Canyon for generations to come.

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