Resource Library

Room to Roam

State Highway 9 Wildlife Crossings Mitigation Monitoring
Authors:
Julia Kintsch (ECO-resolutions), Patricia Cramer, Paige Singer (Rocky Mountain Wild), Michelle Cowardin (Colorado Parks and Wildlife), March 2021
This research monitored the effectiveness of a wildlife mitigation project on State Highway 9 in Grand County, Colorado. The purpose of the mitigation was to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) while providing permeability for wildlife across the highway. This five-year study used motion-activated cameras and analysis of WVC crash and carcass data to evaluate mitigation effectiveness. The research documented 112,678 mule deer successful passages and a success rate of 96% across the seven structures. In addition to mule deer, sixteen other wildlife species successfully used the crossing structures. The wildlife crossings and fencing mitigation helped decrease WVC crashes by 92% and carcasses by 90% relative to pre-construction levels.

Wildlife Crossing Success Stories in the Western States
Authors:
ARC Solutions, January 2021
A showcase of completed and planned initiatives featuring a diversity of species, from toads to pronghorn to mountain lions; a range of landscapes, from urban to rural and in between; and a host of public and private partners, from federal, tribal, state and local agencies, to private companies, non-governmental organizations, philanthropic foundations and other stakeholders.

Wildlife Connectivity Opportunities for State Legislation
Authors:
Rob Ament, Renee Callahan, Laramie Maxwell, Grace Stonecipher, Elizabeth Fairbank, Abigail Breuer (Center for Large Landscape Conservation), March 2020
This report summarizes a variety of ways in which state legislators can act to protect corridors, including data and identification, planning, conservation practice, private land initiatives, partnerships, and funding.

State Highway 9 Wildlife Crossings Monitoring – Year 4 Progress Report
Authors: Julia Kintsch (ECO-resolutions), Patricia Cramer, Paige Singer (Rocky Mountain Wild), Michelle Cowardin (Colorado Parks and Wildlife), Joy Phelan, March 2020
The State Highway 9 (SH 9) Colorado River South Wildlife & Safety Improvement Project installed seven large wildlife crossing structures and 10.4 miles of wildlife exclusion fence between Kremmling and Green Mountain Reservoir in Grand County, Colorado. The project was designed to improve driver safety while providing permeability for wildlife across the highway. This research study evaluates the effectiveness of the mitigation infrastructure through the use of motion activated cameras and analyses of wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) carcass and accident data.

How the Interior Department Turned its Back on Big Game Migration Corridors story map
Analysis & Research: Alison Gallensky (Rocky Mountain Wild), February 2020
Mapping & Story: Gage Cartographics
The interactive storymap shows the millions of acres the Department of Interior (DOI) has offered for oil and gas development directly in wildlife corridors and key habitats. The map shows that in little over one year, DOI has tried to lease nearly 1.2 million acres to the energy industry in big game priority landscapes, and 672,000 acres of that land is in the most crucial habitat identified by states.

Assessment of Connectivity for Wildlife on Federal Lands in Colorado
Authors:
Paige Singer and Paul Millhouser (Rocky Mountain Wild), September 2019
As human development expands and habitat fragmentation increases, connectivity’s importance continues to grow; federal lands with a mandate to preserve wildlife have a key role to play in preserving connectivity. This study represents the first statewide connectivity analysis of Colorado using state-of-the-art analysis techniques. By evaluating connectivity based primarily on the influence of human activity on the landscape, this study provides an understanding of connectivity that is both science-based and applicable to multiple species.

Executive Order: Conserving Colorado’s Big Game Winter Range and Migration Corridors
Author: Governor Polis, August 2019
This Executive Order was issued to conserve Colorado’s big game winter range and migration corridors.

Evaluating Landscape Connectivity and Habitat Fragmentation Effects on Elk in the Roaring Fork and Eagle Valleys
Author:
Paul Millhouser (Rocky Mountain Wild), August 2019
Recent studies conducted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife have identified an alarming decline in elk populations in the Eagle and Roaring Fork valleys of Colorado. This paper applies measures of human influence on the landscape, including habitat fragmentation and landscape connectivity, to the study area in a time series from 1981 to 2017, to identify possible correlations with elk populations changes during that period.

Report Summary: Evaluating Landscape Connectivity and Habitat Fragmentation Effects on Elk in the Roaring Fork and Eagle Valleys
Author:
Paul Millhouser (Rocky Mountain Wild), August 2019
Summary of the report above.

Preserving Biodiversity in an Changing Climate
Author: Alison Gallensky (Rocky Mountain Wild), June 2019
Wild Connections is a regional conservation organization that protects wildlands, native species, and biological diversity in central Colorado. Wild Connections is partnering with Rocky Mountain Wild to analyze the most important places to preserve in their region to ensure biodiversity will persist as the climate changes. This article, from Wild Connections’ Landscape Magazine, introduces the project and explains the Geospatial Modeling techniques that we are using to identify these places.

Habitat Fragmentation Analysis of Boulder County
Authors: Paul Millhouser and Paige Singer (Rocky Mountain Wild), November 2018
Boulder County Parks and Open Space wanted to understand the degree to which human changes to the landscape, including roads, housing, agriculture and other development, has disconnected the county’s remaining areas of undisturbed habitat. BCPOS will use the results of this analysis to help prioritize areas for conservation and to evaluate the effects of proposed future development on wildlife habitat. BCPOS funded this work through their Small Grants program.

Principles for Trail Planning that Respects Wildlife 
Authors: Paige Singer & Paul Millhouser (Rocky Mountain Wild), January 2018
RMW has prepared this list of trail planning guidelines in order to identify current, science-based principles that are aimed at reducing the impact of human trail construction and use on wildlife.

Trail Impacts on Wildlife Habitat Annotated Bibliography 
Authors: Paige Singer & Paul Millhouser (Rocky Mountain Wild), January 2018
RMW has prepared this annotated bibliography in order to provide a listing of recent research – and also a few, still-important earlier studies – addressing the effects of recreational trails on wildlife behavior and habitat quality.

Summit County Safe Passages for Wildlife 
Authors: Julia Kintsch (ECO-resolutions), Bill Ruediger (Wildlife Consulting Resources), Paige Singer (Rocky Mountain Wild), Ashley Nettles (USDA Forest Service), October 2017
The Summit County Safe Passages Plan identifies areas for wildlife movement across Summit County and, specifically, the need for wildlife to move across highways.

ACEC Toolbox 
Author: Megan Mueller (Rocky Mountain Wild), Illustrations: Chris Talbot-Heindl (Rocky Mountain Wild), Updated June 2016
Process for Designating Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) on BLM Lands

Make Connections for Wildlife 
Updated June 2016
Aligning Transportation Projects with State Wildlife Action Plans: A Step-by-Step Guide for Integrated Conservation Planning

Linking Colorado’s Landscapes 
Updated June 2016
A statewide assessment of Wildlife Linkages

Wolf Creek Pass Linkage Landscape Zoological Area 
June 2016
A description, a list of linkage values, and proposed management for Wolf Creek Pass.

Tres Rios Field Office Wildlife Maps 
Author: Alison Gallensky (Rocky Mountain Wild), Updated October 2015
Maps of important areas for wildlife (and a few plant) species found on BLM (and neighboring) lands in the Tres Rios Field Office in far southwestern Colorado.

Wild Connections: Mapping Potential Wilderness Areas 
Author: Wild Connections, Updated June 2015
Identifying Lands with Wilderness Characteristics along the Arkansas River Corridor

The 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act 
Author: Alison Gallensky (Rocky Mountain Wild), Updated April 2014
2014 was the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  See a poster of Wilderness Areas in Colorado

Southern Rockies Wildlands Network Vision 
Authors: Brian Miller, Dave Foreman, Michelle Fink, Doug Sinneman, Jean Smith, Margaret DeMarco, Michael Soulé, Robert Howard, July 2003
A science-based plan that provides an ambitious but practical approach to protecting networks of land in the Southern Rockies to maintain and restore native biological diversity in this spectacular region.

Oil & Gas Watch

Federal Oil and Gas Leasing in the Rocky Mountain West (PDF) 
Author: Alison Gallensky (Rocky Mountain Wild), February 2021
This report shows oil and gas companies currently hold leases on more than 20 million acres of federal land in the Mountain West, and data trends show a sharp decline in interest for additional leases in many states for 2020 and 2021 compared to previous years. The report, using publicly available data from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), analyzes leasing trends in states with the most federal oil and gas leases, including Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. State-by-state breakdowns are included.

Oil and Gas Rules Protect Wildlife story map
Author: Alison Gallensky (Rocky Mountain Wild), January 2021
This interactive storymap shows how new rules for oil and gas development in Colorado increase protection of over 12.7 million acres of wildlife habitat.
Rocky Mountain Wild: Wildlife Protections in Colorado Oil and Gas Rules (PDF) describes the methodology and data sources used to create the story map.

How the Interior Department Turned its Back on Big Game Migration Corridors story map
Analysis & Research: Alison Gallensky (Rocky Mountain Wild), February 2020
Mapping & Story: Gage Cartographics
The interactive storymap shows the millions of acres the Department of Interior (DOI) has offered for oil and gas development directly in wildlife corridors and key habitats. The map shows that in little over one year, DOI has tried to lease nearly 1.2 million acres to the energy industry in big game priority landscapes, and 672,000 acres of that land is in the most crucial habitat identified by states.

Writing Comments That Stick (PDF) 
Author: Tehri Parker (Rocky Mountain Wild), February 2018
Submitting written comments and protests to governmental agencies can be an effective way to make your voice heard, and to protect our natural resources – be it a National Monument, a rare plant species, a recreation area, or land being leased for fossil fuel development. But, all comments are not created equal. In fact, governmental agencies can throw your comments out if you don’t follow the proper procedures. So, let’s take a few minutes to make sure we get it right, and make sure that your time and effort are well spent.

2018 Maps of Oil and Gas Development 
Author: Alison Gallensky (Rocky Mountain Wild), January 2019
These high resolution maps show the widespread impact of oil and gas development on Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. See where drilling is occurring and what lands have been leased by oil and gas companies for current and future development.

Quantifying the Economic Contributions of Wildlife-Related Recreation on BLM Lands
Author: Southwick Associates, September 2018
This project quantifies the spending and economic contributions associated with hunting, fishing, and wildlife-viewing recreation in 2016 on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands across 12 target states.

Leasing of National Forest Lands in BLM Oil and Gas Lease Sales 
Author: Rocky Mountain Wild, November 2016
Rocky Mountain Wild wanted to better understand how the U.S. Forest Service determines which specific parcels to authorize the Bureau of Land management (“BLM”) to include in the quarterly oil and gas lease sale auctions. To carry out this task, our team read relevant parts of all documents pertaining to oil and gas leasing for all seven of Colorado’s national forest/national grassland administrative units. This included land and resource management plans and accompanying final environmental impact statements (FEISs), as well as stand-alone analyses (including FEISs) of oil and gas leasing. The analyses dates from 1992 to December, 2015.

Draft Boundary for South Park Master Leasing Plan 
Author: Alison Gallensky (Rocky Mountain Wild), July 2014
BLM planning for development of oil and gas resources in South Park, near the headwaters of the South Platte River

Equity in the Outdoors

“As environmentalists, we need to ensure the safety of people of color recreating, advocating, and doing community science in the outdoors”
Author: Chris Talbot-Heindl (Rocky Mountain Wild), May 2020
I think we need to talk about what happened to Christian Cooper and what happens too often to outdoors people who are also people of color – especially Black and Indigenous people of color who are disproportionately targeted – and move towards what we can do as environmentalists to ensure the safety of people of color recreating, advocating, and doing community science in the outdoors. Studies have shown that people of color are way more likely than their white counterparts to be environmentalists, but have been historically underrepresented in environmental groups and less likely to participate in outdoor recreation. As a white-presenting mixed-race person, I’ve had the privilege to not have to think about my safety while recreating or participating in our community science projects. But as a white-presenting person it is my responsibility to tackle this racism that I benefit from. Here are some articles and resources to help us do that.

How to set up organizations to be inclusive, focus on equity first, and value LGBTIQA2+ employees (video)
Author: Chris Talbot-Heindl (Rocky Mountain Wild), March 2020
A lot of environmental organizations are set up to default to a cis- het- and white-normative culture, often leading to a hostile workplace for LGBTIQA2+ employees. Chris discusses ways to set up organizations to be inclusive, focus on equity first, and work towards cultural competencies that value and retain LGBTIQA2+ employees as well as supporters. They also discuss specific cases in which this hasn’t happened and what it feels like to be on the receiving end of bias and bigotry in the environmental field.