Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Gov. Bill Ritter today praised yesterday's passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of legislation authorizing the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program. The program will allow Colorado to work withWyoming, Nebraska, the federal government, water providers and other organizations to recover threatened and endangered species within the Platte River Basin.
The Senate passed the legislation, which is part of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, on April 10.

"This is a major step toward assuring that the Platte River Recovery Program succeeds," Gov. Ritter said. "Water providers, environmentalists and Colorado citizens should be proud that Sen. Salazar, Sen. Allard and Rep. Udall took leadership roles to support the passage of this legislation."
"This step allows us to move immediately to take direct actions to recover the whooping crane, least tern, piping plover and pallid sturgeon," said Harris Sherman, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. "The whooping crane is North America's largest bird species, and through our actions we have been able to bring this species from the brink of extinction to the highest recorded numbers in decades."
In 1979, there were just 56 whooping cranes in the wild flock that uses the Platte River. In 2007, 257 whooping cranes were counted in the flock.
"This legislation opens the door to land restoration efforts that are critical to the program's success," said Ted Kowalski, program manager for the Colorado Water Conservation Board.