South Shale Ridge in western Colorado is prized for scenery, and the natural gas that lies beneath it.
Credit Photo by Kirk Siegler
Wilderness conservation took a hit as part of this year’s federal budget compromise. A rider slipped into the bill at the last minute has put millions of acres of land back on the table for oil and gas drilling. One of those places is South Shale Ridge in western Colorado. The area is not federally protected wilderness. So the conservation-minded Interior Department had floated a different term for places like it, “wild lands.” But that definition is now up in the air.
Never threaten a hagfish. And if you do, watch out.
"When it's threatened or in danger or gets injured, it produces — very quickly — huge amounts of slime," says Ellen Prager, a marine scientist and educator. "In fact, they found that in just a few minutes, it can fill up seven buckets full of gooey, slimy gunk."
Another state report is out giving dire predictions about the future of water supplies in arid Colorado, even as the state's population continues to boom. The report shows that unless more conservation and other water projects move forward, up to 700,000 acres of farmland could be dried up in the state by 2050. The release of the Statewide Water Supply Initiative comes as water managers from around the region are meeting for a Colorado Water Congress summit.