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Colorado: Sage Grouse Listing Threatens Oil and Gas Development

Upstream Conventional & Unconventional Onshore Development


The Colorado Attorney General’s office is preparing a lawsuit challenging the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Department’s listing of the Gunnison sage grouse as a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act. This listing will require conservation measures to protect the sage grouse’s habitat, located in the southwestern portion of the state. State officials argue that Colorado has undertaken voluntary, pro-active steps to ensure the sage grouse’s habitat is protected and are concerned the listing could shut down oil and gas drilling operations located in the 1.4 million acre area that serves as critical habitat for the bird. Criticism for the federal listing has come from broad range of political interests including newly-ousted U.S. Senator Mark Udall (D), Senator-elect Cory Gardener (R), Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D), and conservative activist group Americans for Prosperity. The lawsuit is not expected to be filed until next year.



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