Study: Coordination needed on drilling, mule deer
DENVER — A nonprofit conservation organization says better coordination is needed between state wildlife and land managers handling energy development and mule deer populations in the West.
The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership released a report today on the impacts of oil and gas drilling on mule deer in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
Officials say mule deer depend on seasonal habitats that have been protected from traffic and human activity, including energy leases located within their winter ranges.
The report says 2.4 million acres of their habitat have been leased for development. While there are some restrictions in place, it says drilling companies often apply for, and receive, a break from the limitations.
According to the report, 83 percent of relief requests from wildlife protection were granted between 2007 and 2008.