Two Great Horned Owls (GH Owls) are nesting in a tree on private property that is adjacent to where Extraction is building its pipeline and access road on private property.
Two Great Horned Owls (GH Owls) are nesting in a tree on private property that is adjacent to where Extraction is building its pipeline and access road on private property. The Open Space staff and Extraction have developed a plan to minimize disturbance to the nesting GH Owls. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) staff was consulted. It was confirmed that CPW does not have a buffer guideline between development and nesting GH Owls. CPW noted that, "Because of GH Owls adaptability and high tolerance for human activity, we do not have a recommended spatial buffer zone for an active nest in contrast to other raptor species..." However, GH Owls are also federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act which prohibits their harassment, take, or nest destruction. CPW noted the construction activities could be delayed or a qualified biologist could monitor the nest during construction. The following plan was developed based on the idea of Extraction utilizing a professional biologist.
This plan was also presented to the Open Space and Trails Advisory Committee on February 28:
- A 440-foot buffer around the nest on the undeveloped private land will be maintained and vehicles and people will be restricted as much as possible in this area while still allowing for the construction of the pipeline. The buffer was determined by looking at the distance from the nest to the nearest major activity area. Sheridan Blvd. is 440 feet from the nest. Open Space staff also consulted with a professional biologist from ERO Resources Corporation on the buffer and overall plan.
- Signage will be placed along the buffer boundary in key locations to inform the public to not enter this area.
- A professional biologist will be on-site during the construction of the pipeline and will have stop work authority during construction in the 440-foot buffer. The biologist will also try to minimize vehicle movement within the buffer. The pipeline work will occur within the temporary construction easement. A segment of the pipeline will be bored underground beneath Community Ditch.