DOW commends energy companies

Phillip YatesGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The Colorado Division of Wildlife on Thursday presented awards to several energy companies, all of whom have operations in Garfield County, for their work to “protect wildlife and wildlife habitat.”The awards were presented to the energy companies during a joint meeting of the Colorado Wildlife Commission and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.”We try to work cooperatively with these companies,” said Randy Hampton, a spokesman for the DOW. “Most of the time they come to us and ask ‘What can we do better?’ It is our hope that the industry will continue to turn to us for that wildlife expertise.”The two largest energy operators in the county, Williams Production RMT and EnCana Oil and Gas (USA), both received awards Thursday.State officials cited EnCana for its work to provide more than $1 million to fund DOW studies of wildlife, including the greater sage-grouse and mule deer in the Piceance Basin. The state agency also lauded the company’s efforts to support DOW law enforcement efforts to reduce poaching, according to the DOW.The company also has completed “significant baseline wildlife research on the company’s North Parachute Ranch property, where they have applied management plans to address greater sage-grouse, gazing and weed management and land restoration,” a DOW statement said.”We are honored,” said Doug Hock, spokesman for EnCana. “Our employees care about wildlife. We care about the same values that people live here and recreate here. We are always looking to partner with groups like the DOW to find ways protect and preserve wildlife.”Williams was also honored for its “commitment to wildlife research and the DOW Hunter Outreach program, including providing more than $450,000 to the Central Piceance Basin wildlife research project,” the DOW statement said. Other Williams’ efforts the state recognized was its work to obtain water rights in 2007 and construct an irrigation system to “provide water to critical deer range in the Rulison, Parachute and Grand Valley gas fields.”Other companies and their honored efforts, according to the statement released Thursday, included:• Shell Oil Company for an agreement that keeps 18,000 acres of Shell land in the Piceance Basin open for public hunting through a 10-year hunting lease with the DOW for $1 a year. • ConocoPhillips for providing funding and support for a research technician who worked on sage grouse research. • Chevron for allowing DOW sage-grouse researchers access to the company’s private lands around Skinner Ridge.

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