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Conserving Colorado
Conserving Colorado
​ ​

Our Mission: Protecting our most valued
and valuable resources

We have been entrusted by the people of Colorado to protect and care for Colorado’s wildlife and our recreational spaces. It is an incredible mission, as our state’s quality of life, outdoor heritage and economic prosperity are tied to the health and sustainability of these treasures. Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff have worked for over a century to ensure the health and future of Colorado’s state parks and wildlife through cutting-edge science and innovative conservation practices.​​

​​​English Valley game camera pronghorn

​​Bringing water and habitat to
the English Valley​

​How do you help stem agricultural damage by wildlife and provide better year-round habitat alternatives for the animals when the area in question has few reliable water sources? This was the challenge facing the U.S. Forest Service in the Rio Grande National Forest in southwestern Saguache County. 

Though drilling a solar well was an opportunity to provide a reliable source of water for area wildlife, the USFS did not have adequate funds for the project, which would cost just over $71,000. Ultimately, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Habitat Partnership Program State Council Grant, the San Luis Valley HPP Committee, the Mule Deer Foundation, NCRS and personal donations of cash and labor all joined forces with the USFS to bring the project to fruition. 

Since the installation of the system, Forest Service and San Luis Valley HPP members alternate maintenance checks. Additionally, complaints from agricultural interests in the area subsided. The antelope herd on these public lands have seen significant increases, and is likely to create more hunting opportunity in this prized management unit.​

​​​Lynx in Snow

​​Successful reintroduction of the
Cana​da Lynx

​Lynx were established in Colorado’s high elevation forests prior to European settlement. In the early 1800s, commercial trappers sought the animal’s thick fur, and the lynx population in Colorado dropped rapidly through the​ late 1800s and early 1900s. With no records after the early 1970’s, it was believed that the species had been extirpated from the state. With the right habitat, could the species once again thrive in Colorado? 

In 1999, Colorado Parks and Wildlife brought the first 41 lynx from Canada and Alaska to the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado. The river valleys, rugged mountains, and adequate snowshoe hares provided good habitat in the 5.2 million acre core reintroduction area. Through 2006, a total of 218 lynx were released in Colorado, all fitted with radio and satellite collars. This allowed researchers to monitor movement patterns, survival, male and female proximity during breeding season, and female denning and births. 

In 2010, CPW declared that the reintroduction project met all established benchmarks of success. These included high survival rates after release, successful reproduction in released animals and animals born in the wild, low mortality rates, and reproduction rates that are equal to or that exceed mortality rates over an extended period of time.

​​​Staunton Track Chair

​​Action Trackchairs providing access
to all Coloradans

Trail recreation is the most popular form of recreation in Colorado. Colorado Parks and Wildlife offer 700 miles of trails in our state parks, and invests $6-$7 Million in motorized and non-motorized trails every year. However, accessing some of our state’s more rugged terrain posed a challenge for disabled residents. 

With a goal of making the outdoors accessible to all, the Friends of Staunton State Park have created the Mark Madsen Accessibility Fund, which through donations and annual fundraisers have allowed the purchase of three Action Trackchairs at the park. Three trails of varying distance are available inside the park for track-chair users to explore the park and gain access to popular trails with v​iews of Pikes Peak, Lions Head & Mount Rosalie as well as water features and a variety of plants and wildlife. 

The Action Trackchairs are free to use, and are reservable on a first come, first served basis. The efforts behind Staunton’s track-chair program provide the means for those who do not have full mobility to still hike the trails and share the outdoor experience with friends and family.​


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