We are thrilled to announce that CNHP has been awarded $550,832 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Region 8, Wetland Program Development Grant Program. The award funds three projects that support EPA’s Strategic Plan and contributes to Colorado’s Wetlands Strategy.
The first project, Tools for Colorado Wetlands: Essential Information for Identification, Assessment, and Conservation, will develop a Colorado Wetland Field Guide that will contain botanical descriptions of over 500 wetland plants as well as information on priority wildlife species and other wetland-dependent animals, wildlife and vegetation ecology, and rare and/or sensitive plants. The Guide will serve as the ultimate resource to determine a wetland plant’s identity, wetland indicator status, coefficient of conservation, rarity, and ecology. The project will also develop an easily accessible Colorado Wetland Website that will provide a virtual “one-stop shopping” for wetland information in Colorado, including:
- Information on wetland ecosystems and their conservation status,
- a database to calculate the overall conservatism of species present in a wetland,
- reports on Colorado wetland and wetland assessment tools, and
- links to other wetland projects and programs
The second project, Setting Mitigation in the Watershed Context: Developing a Multi-tiered Approach to Improve Compensatory Mitigation will be conducted in partnership with CSU’s Department of Biology. This project will develop protocols for improving compensatory mitigation decisions by placing them within a whole watershed context, considering both gross changes to the abundance of wetland types and the condition of existing wetlands. A pilot study area will include a key portion of the rapidly developing northern Front Range I-25 corridor. This project will create:
- A rational framework for developing wetland profiles throughout Colorado for mitigation purposes,
- mapping and trend analysis of wetland cumulative impacts, along with characterization of current wetland condition within the pilot study area, and
- a general framework for placing mitigation in the landscape context in Colorado.
The third project, Survey of Critical Wetlands and Riparian Areas in Teller County, will build upon CNHP’s effort to document and assess Colorado’s rare and/or imperiled plants, animals, and unique plant communities since 1992. This project, in partnership with Teller County and the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP), will perform a prioritized survey and conditional assessment of the County’s wetlands, including geographically isolated wetlands. The survey will provide a proactive approach for land managers and decision makers in rapidly growing areas within the County.
10/28/2009 Update: Here is the official press release from CSU.