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​​​Family poses with a tent at the Outdoor Expo

​​It's not Colorado without our
parks and wildlife​

​The mission of Colorado Parks and Wildlife is to manage wildlife, maintain a quality state parks system and provide outdoor recreation opportunities that inspire the people of Colorado and our visitors. Every Coloradan benefits from healthy wildlife, well-maintained parks and programs that teach, promote and retain our outdoor heritage. Learn more about how our agency works toward this mission every day. ​​​


Policy a​n​d Operations Fact Sheets

The Future Generations Act 

The Future Generations Act

Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff have worked for over a century to ensure the health and future of Colorado’s state parks and wildlife. However, this legacy, and our future, comes with great responsibility. Proper funding helps ensure future generations have access to the quality hunting, fishing and parks recreational opportunities that we enjoy today.

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Dam Maintenance & Safety 

Dam Maintenance & Safety

CPW is the largest dam owner in Colorado, and the water impounded from over 110 CPW dams is used for irrigation, fish hatcheries, and recreational activities such as fishing, boating and swimming. The need for funding to protect the waters and surrounding habitat and communities is critical.

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Mussel-Free Colorado Act 

Mussel-Free Colorado Act

The threat to Colorado’s waters from zebra and quagga mussels continues to grow. Infestations of these aquatic nuisance species are expensive to control, and nearly impossible to eradicate. Read more about why CPW supports the Mussel-Free Colorado Act.

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Principles for Advancing Outdoor Recreation and Conservation 

Colorado's Adoption of the SHIFT Principles

Colorado’s abundant open space and outdoor recreation opportunities contribute to our quality of life and economic vitality. CPW has adopted key SHIFT principles and works with our partners to care for and conserve our landscapes, waterways and wildlife for this and future generations.

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Keep It Colorado: Colorado's Lottery Works to Protect Our Heritage 

Keep It Colorado: Colorado's Lottery Works to Protect Our Heritage

Colorado is the only state that distributes 100% of lottery proceeds to support outdoor recreation and land conservation. Approximately half of Great Outdoors Colorado’s annual funding is dedicated to investments in sportsmen priorities, including wildlife habitat conservation, improving access to hunting and angling opportunities, and getting the next generation of hunters and anglers outdoors.

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Regional Fact Sheets

Southwest Region Fact Sheet 

Southwest Region

The Southwest Region is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Birders flock to the region, along with the hunters, hikers, boaters and bikers that all enjoy the varied landscapes in the region. See how CPW programs make an impact in the Southwest.

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Northwest Region Fact Sheet 

Northwest Region

The Northwest Region is an hunting, angling and outdoor recreation paradise in any season. From managing the country’s largest elk herds to grooming snowmobile trails, CPW helps outdoor recreation thrive as an economic driver in the region.

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Southeast Region Fact Sheet 

Southeast Region

The Southeast Region boasts some of the best fishing, rafting and birding in the country alongside unique geology and major urban centers. Learn more about how CPW helps maintain key natural resources in the area.

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Northeast Region Fact Sheet 

Northeast Region

The varied landscapes, recreational opportunities and major urban centers of the Northeast Region create unique resource demands. Discover how CPW helps enhance and balance the area’s growing needs for recreation, wildlife and working lands.

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Efficiency Successes

Check Out Colorado State Parks 

Check Out Colorado State Parks

In partnership with Colorado Department of Education, State Library and local library systems, Colorado Parks and Wildlife launched the “Check Out Colorado State Parks” program in 2016. This program provides 297 Colorado libraries with two park passes and adventure backpacks filled with binoculars, tools and suggested educational activities. Discover how we met our goal of reaching new and underserved populations.

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Researching the Best Fish Food 

Researching the Best Fish Food

Producing nearly 3 million catchable rainbow trout each year is no small task, nor is it a cheap one. CPW aquatic biologists wanted to ensure that the costs to rear these fish were maximized, not only considering the price of food, but understanding the effects of different feeds on survival growth rate, fish size, appearance and taste. Learn about our aquatic team’s efforts and how we found unexpected cost savings.

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Program Highlights

Wildlife Habitat Program 

Wildlife Habitat Program

The Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program (CWHP) is a program that offers funding for private landowners who wish to help protect important wildlife habitat and provide wildlife-related recreational access to the public. The CWHP has invested $138,000,000 in the past decade to protect a total of 250,000 acres, including approximately 36 miles around the state for fishing access.

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State Trails Program 

State Trails Program

Trail-related recreation, both non-motorized and motorized, continues to be the most popular type of recreation in Colorado. Trails are how many residents and visitors connect to Colorado’s nature and wildlife. Since 2000, CPW’s Trails Program has distributed over $102 million for trail grants and capital improvements that benefit year round trail use.

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Shooting Sports Fact Sheet 

Shooting Sports

CPW has a long-standing history of supporting and promoting shooting sports. Excise taxes on sporting arms and ammunition are a key source of wildlife conservation funding. CPW awards up to $500,000 in shooting range grants and partners with the National Archery in the Schools Program to provide archery instruction in over 120 Colorado schools annually.

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Fishing is Fun Grant Program 

Fishing is Fun Grant Program

Over the past 30 years, the CPW Fishing Is Fun grant program has supported more than 300 angling improvement projects statewide. Program funding comes from the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program, and matching funds are required. These projects provide better access, new angling opportunities and education to benefit new and youth anglers in the state.

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Research and Planning

The Outdoor Recreation Economy 

The Outdoor Recreation Economy

Outdoor recreation is among our nation's largest economic sectors, with American consumers spending more than on pharmaceuticals and fuel combined. Discover why investment in outdoor recreation results in healthier communities and healthier economies.

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Outdoor Recreation In Colorado Fact Sheet 

Outdoor Recreation in Colorado

Outdoor recreation thrives in Colorado, leading to a high quality of life, providing 229,000 jobs, drawing tourism and helping communities grow socially and economically.

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SCORP 

Executive Summary

The Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) serves as a framework for the state’s recreational planning and enhancement. See how Colorado Parks and Wildlife and our many private and public partners are taking steps to strengthen and broaden our outdoor recreation community. 

For additional information on the SCORP background, surveys, statewide recreation maps and the full downloadable 2014 SCORP Report, visit the SCORP page​.

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