Polis signs executive order to track, conserve Colorado’s wildlife and habitat

Image of a doe mule deer quickly crossing a residential road in Durango, Colorado. Deer in town are so common that locals call them "Townie" deer, meaning they live in the city. Town deer crossing roads create hazards for drivers. (Photo: Getty Images)

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis Wednesday signed an executive order aimed at protecting Colorado’s wildlife as they move throughout the state.

The order directs the Colorado Department of Natural resources and Colorado Department of transportation to examine where big game animals are and how they move throughout the state, and to adjust policy in response, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

Gov. Jared Polis wildlife executive order

The executive order directs the Department of Natural Resources to identify threats to big game, and any gaps in data, as well as to identify legislature that could help conserve big game habitat and migration corridors, according to the release.

Polis directed the Colorado Department of Transportation in the executive order to consider big game migration as it makes plans for the state’s transportation to help protect wildlife and reduce crashes involving the state’s animals. Currently, according to the release, nearly 4,000 wildlife related crashes are reported each year.

“Colorado’s natural beauty and wildlife are part of why so many people love our great state,” Polis said, in the release. “This is a step toward better understanding and protecting the migratory patterns of Colorado’s wildlife populations and ensuring we can preserve our treasured animals and their habitats.”

Some wildlife passages, including over- and under-passes, wildlife fencing and escape ramps have been successful in Colorado, according to the release, including along Colo. 9 south of Kremmling.

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