Colorado Parks and Wildlife is working to conserve critical habitat through the Colorado Habitat Exchange. The Habitat Exchange is a proactive solution to balance species conservation with economic development and agriculture. As part of this effort, Environmental Incentives has been selected to develop a Mule Deer Habitat Quantification Tool that will support mule deer conservation in the state.
“The Colorado Habitat Exchange is an innovative program that provides a platform for conserving habitat for multiple species. Environmental Incentives is thrilled to work alongside Colorado Parks and Wildlife to develop a habitat quantification tool that is both scientifically rigorous and user-friendly,” said Erik Anderson, who leads Environmental Incentives’ metrics work.
Environmental Incentives has many years of experience developing habitat quantification tools for the Colorado Habitat Exchange and other similar programs that are now facilitating multimillion-dollar transactions and creating a net benefit to species. Through the project, Environmental Incentives will develop a cost-effective tool that meaningfully links habitat to overall species health and establishes incentives that inspire landowners to create habitat in the most important areas.
Recent state legislation and federal directives have made clear the need for an innovative approach like the Colorado Habitat Exchange. The U.S. Department of the Interior recently directed federal agencies to work closely with the State of Colorado to improve mule deer and other western big game habitats through Secretarial Order 3362. Combined with the passing of the Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations state bill, these policies highlight the importance of partnering across large landscapes to maintain the habitat that greater sage-grouse and mule deer depend on.
“The Colorado Habitat Exchange is now more relevant than ever to protect and enhance important habitats in Colorado. We are excited to build on the current set of tools offered by the program to include mule deer,” said Jon Holst, the southwest region energy liaison at Colorado Parks and Wildlife.