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​​​​​​​​​​​​​Large gas drilling rig just west of Rifle, Colorado.Colorado is rapidly becoming a major contributor of energy for the nation's needs. The state is rich in fossil fuels, including oil, natural gas, oil shale and coal. Colorado also has significant uranium deposits. Because of these available resources, the state is currently experiencing considerable growth in mineral development.

Significant mineral development activity is occurring in Colorado's oil and natural gas fields. Currently there are more than 24,000 wells in the State of Colorado. The number of new well applications submitted to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has risen steadily from  5,904 in 2006, to 6,368 in 2007, to 8,027 well applications in 2008.

Active Gas wells just west of Rifle in close proximity to 1-70 & the Colorado RiverAll of the energy development that is occurring could have an impact on one of Colorado's other key natural resources – wildlife. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is working with the energy industry, land management agencies and state regulators to make sure that energy work is done with wildlife and wildlife habitat in mind. It is important to note that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife has no regulatory authority over the energy industry, so working together with industry provides the best chance to protect, enhance and preserve Colorado's wildlife resource.

Wind energy projects are progressing in the eastern part of the state. For information on siting a wind energy project, please contact
Al Trujillo​. Wildlife maps can be found at http://ndis.nrel.colostate.edu/.

Wildlife in Colorado: What You Should Know DVD coverEncana and CPW Produce Wildlife Video
Encana and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife have produced a training DVD that gives energy workers information to minimize their impacts to Colorado wildlife and wildlife habitat.

Wildlife in Colorado: What You Need to Know includes information about wildlife, including how to care for trash to avoid attracting bears to work areas, why feeding even small animals can be unsafe for people and the animals, what to do if you encounter a mountain lion, and the importance of protecting species like the cutthroat trout and sage grouse. The DVD also explains hunting and fishing opportunities in Colorado and what is required to qualify for resident hunting and fishing licenses.

To request a copy of the video contact Encana community relations at (866) 896-6371.

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