Residential, commercial, and oil and gas development in Colorado are hotly debated issues for many reasons. Chief among concerns is loss of habitat for the wildlife of the Colorado Rocky Mountains (the Plains too). Colorado is a year-round vacation destination, which brings development and other problems. The state has been and continues to be an attractive region for relocation. The Rocky Mountains offer a unique quality of life. Unfortunately, those who relocate need homes. Therefore, developers sell great tracts of land, often developing with little regard for the ecosystems they invade. Mountain areas such as Steamboat Springs, Vail and Grand Lake have grown to accommodate new residents.
As time passes and new residents settle into their snug mountain homes, they realize that city services are not part of mountain living. Roads are treacherous in winter conditions. Often, the nearest major shopping can be hours away. Eventually, people begin to clamor for safer and/or paved roads. They want to have the types of restaurants and shopping available to city-dwellers. Planning commissions, eager for revenue, open land to further commercial development. Every square inch developed is a square inch lost to habitat. Other forms of development, such as energy development, are even more invasive with far-reaching environmental consequences. But, habitat loss is always on the list of issues.
The following is an abstract that illustrates the type of the dialogue that occurs around development issues: "Winter Tourism and Land Development in Gunnison, Colorado"