2. US Forest Service Plan for Rio Grande National Forest— We are imploring the Service to protect migratory corridors in this national forest
Thanks very much for letting the US Forest Service hear from you this past fall that is is essential to protect migration corridors in the Rio Grande National Forest, and in particular the Spruce Hole and Chalma Basin special interests areas. Spruce Hole is relied upon by mule deer and elk to travel between Colorado and New Mexico for seasonal migration. The Chalma Basin provides summer range for mule deer. As the forest plan will remain in effect for 20 years, it is very important to get a plan in place that protects our wildlife in this important area and ensure it does not become fragmented by roads and various future projects. For updates go to the connectedcorridors.com website which CWF helped NWF to establish.
2. Recovering America’s Wildlife Act introduced July 12, 2019 This bill (H.R. 3742) is a bold effort to reverse America’s wildlife crisis.
Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will address this with a once in a generation investment to fund wildlife recovery efforts in each state including Colorado. The Colorado Wildlife Action Plan lists 55 “tier 1” species of greatest conservation need and an overall 159 such species. More than 157 members of Congress already have signed onto the bill, including Colorado Representatives Ed Perlmutter and Joe Neguse and Diana DeGette. We are working to gain support among each of Colorado’s other Representatives. The bill passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee December 5, 2019 with a strong bi-partisan 26-6 vote. In the House the total number of co-sponsors now stands at 165!
Please ask Colorado’s other Representatives to support this bill.
3. Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) bill for full permanent funding LWCF was permanently reauthorized in the public lands package that was signed into law on March 12. 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. LWCF is funded with royalties from offshore energy development. Now we need to gain passage of dedicated, full permanent funding for LWCF! It has passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and we thanked Senator Gardner for his work to generate the strong bi-partisan vote. The next step is the Senate Floor.
4. South Park lands managed by BLM – The draft environmental impact statement was issued in late June for the public lands that BLM manages in eastern Colorado and also addresses the iconic landscape level of South Park. In this planning process, CWF has focused on South Park for several years. The public comment period closed on September 20, 2019. Our comment letter is attached under this item in News. We expect the final plan to be issued in early spring.