Friday, December 13, 2013

Western Governor's Association Releases New Wildlife Map

The Western Governor's Association (WGA) is a non-partisan organization of U.S. Governors in the western region. The organization seeks to address important policy issues in the west, and enhance the social and economic structures of the region. The WGA focuses on collaborative innovation between state governors as well as Canadian representatives.

The WSA recently released a new wildlife habitat mapping database, which has been five years in the making. The Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) rates resources on a numerical scale, with 6 meaning least crucial. The states involved with the projects have determined their individual priorities based on habitat condition, and the economic and recreational importance of the individual species to the area.

A snapshot of CHAT courtesy of the WGA website
The effort to create CHAT stemmed from the realization that endangered species and habitat preservation were not contained by state boundary lines, nor were planning projects confined within individual states. The GIS mapping project has been praised by developers as well as conservationists.

Although CHAT doesn't provide any regulatory authority, it can assist developers when considering where to develop and will serve conservationists by highlighting important areas. It is hoped that CHAT will bring about greater certainty and predictability to planning efforts in the west.

To watch a WGA webinar on CHAT, follow this link.
For more information, visit the WGA CHAT website.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

LLM Alumna's Sustainability Focused Company Partners with City of Boulder

Eco-Loyalty Program Targets Reducing Consumer Waste

LLM alumna, Leslie Weise, founded BEECO Corp. in 2011 with a goal of creating consumer friendly technology and tools to engage more people to incorporate sustainability throughout their lives. "We are consumers in most aspects of our lives, from family, work and school to social and recreational activities, our purchasing decisions not only reflect the price we are willing or able to pay for goods and services, but also the values the companies who manufacture and sell the products represent," said Weise, the President of the Colorado-based business.

BEECO is currently focused on launching several programs that all relate to each other to enhance consumer awareness and in turn promote the sustainability products and services industry. The City of Boulder has chosen to partner with BEECO to promote BEECO Rewards, an eco-loyalty program that has inherent rewards built in to both retail businesses who subscribe to the program, as well as their customers who shop at their stores with their own reusable bags and to-go mugs.

Customers download the free app to their mobile phones to track the points they earn each time they shop with their reusable container (and forego taking single use disposable bags and coffee cups) while shopping. Once they have earned enough points, users of the program can redeem them for free stuff (products, discounts) that are offered by each store. The City of Boulder has found the program to be a great complement to the bag fee that went into place earlier this year, so that residents and visitors feel they have the opportunity to earn rewards for doing the right thing for the environment, rather than simply pay a .10 cent fee each time they forget to bring their reusable bag when shopping.

The Boulder's Daily Camera paper recently featured BEECO's program, which the City of Boulder has named Brought it Boulder Rewards. More information about the Boulder program can be found here, and you can learn more about BEECO and its sustainability programs for businesses here. If you know of any retail businesses or organizations that would be a good fit for BEECO Rewards, please contact Leslie Weise at