Colorado water rules could affect migrating cranes

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 8, 2014 at 2:31 p.m.



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DENVER (AP) — Wildlife officials say Colorado's effort to replenish its aquifers by cracking down on pumping groundwater threatens to leave thousands of sandhill cranes that arrive in the state each February without the water they need.

Michael Blenden is the federal manager of the San Luis Valley complex of three national wildlife refuges and the Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area. He tells The Denver Post (http://bit.ly/1hXgjXu) the new rules have "the potential for changing the dynamics of what we have witnessed for the last 50 years."

The cranes will be OK this year, but rules are kicking in that would prevent federal wildlife managers from pumping the 2.67 billion gallons they typically draw to create artificial wetlands for migratory birds. The wetlands draw 95 percent of the cranes across a six-state region.

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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com

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The Associated Press

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