There are many reasons people decide to live in Colorado – one of them is our great outdoors. Our state is defined by its majestic mountains, rolling valleys and everything in between.
When it comes to utilities projects and systems, our employees take special steps to ensure the integrity of our region’s habitat and the wildlife that depend on it.
Birds of prey
Utility poles often serve as excellent hunting, feeding and resting perches for raptors, or birds of prey.
Some of the more common raptor species found in our service territory are the Red-Tailed Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Ferruginous Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Rough-Legged Hawk, Northern Goshawk and Cooper's Hawk.
We protect these species by adding protective devices to the utility poles and lines that either deter them from landing or protect them from electric shock if they do. We also follow stringent construction standards when installing new poles and retrofitting older ones. Almost all of our new electric lines are buried underground.
In addition to protecting raptors, we also educate local students on the importance of respecting birds of prey. Our wildlife experts use interactive displays to share information on raptor characteristics, behavior, habitat conservation and raptor protection efforts. Learn how to schedule a presentation at your or your child’s school.
Everyone can help look after our feathered friends. Call us at 448-4800 if you see raptors using an electric pole as a perch.
Threatened and endangered species
For decades, we’ve partnered with Colorado Parks & Wildlife to ensure the protection of Greenback Cutthroat Trout. Since the 1950s, some of our reservoirs on the south slope of Pikes Peak have been used by the Division to raise this species.
Fish eggs are collected and fertilized each spring and sent to hatcheries in the region, where young fish can be raised for restocking lakes and streams throughout Colorado.
In 1998, the Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse (PMJM) was listed as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. Anyone who alters habitat or water flows near creeks or drainages anywhere in El Paso County must ensure that they do not disturb the PMJM or its habitat.
Locally, the PMJM is found near streams such as Monument Creek, Black Squirrel Creek and Kettle Creek, where dense willows and upland shrubs provide the shelter and habitat on which they depend.
To protect the PMJM, we complete assessments and mitigation, if needed, prior to projects adjacent to potential habitats. This ensures that no PMJM will be harmed by our construction activities or operations.
Our commitment to the environment means we consistently act in accordance with the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Wetlands are highly-productive ecosystems valued for their wildlife habitat, flood control, groundwater recharge and natural treatment of water. Most wetlands, which are protected under the Clean Water Act, often look like marshes, bogs or swamps.
Wetlands are found in our service territory in our remote mountain watersheds, and at Pinello and Clear Spring Ranches. Wetlands also occur along some streams in the vicinity of our energy and water service lines.