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Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program
Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Grady Ranch


What is the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program?

The Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program (CWHP) offers funding opportunities for landowners who wish to voluntarily protect important wildlife habitat, provide wildlife-related recreational access to the public, and, if appropriate, sell their property to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. ​​​​​​


The 2024 Request for Proposals Period is Now Open

Who can apply?

A landowner - or appropriate designee* - must submit a funding proposal that addresses one or more of the following Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission 2024 funding priorities:​

  • Acquiring significant public access for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing
  • Protecting big game winter range and migration corridors
  • Protecting habitat for species of concern, specifically Species of Greatest Conservation Need, as identified in CPW’s State Wildlife Action Plan
  • Protecting riparian areas and wetlands
  • Landscape-scale parcels
  • Parcels that provide connectivity to other conserved lands

Additional points will be given to proposals that address one or more of 2024's funding preferences:

  • ​Properties that include Lesser Prairie Chicken habitat 
  • Properties that exhibit biodiversity 
  • Provides public access Right of Way across private land to provide access to landlocked public land 
  • Working farms and ranches 
  • Properties that support wildlife crossings

*Can someone submit a proposal on behalf of the landowner?

​A landowner may request a land trust, local government, or other conservation organization (collectively, “Third Party,”) to submit a proposal on the landowner's behalf. If the proposal involves a conservation easement to be held by a Third Party, the entity must be qualified to hold conservation easements under federal and state law. 

How-to Apply​

Proposal Deadline: October ​10, 2024, 5:00 p.m. MST.  ​

​​1. Completing a Proposal

The 2024 application is made up of the 3 parts listed below. Download and complete each before submitting a proposal. 

​Proposal Instructions (PDF)

How to Submit a Proposal (PDF)

  1. Part 1: ​ Proposa​l Fundi​ng ​Form (DOCX)
  2. Part 2: Proposal Budget Form (PDF)
  3. Part 3: Suppleme​ntal I​nformation​ (DOCX)

​2. Submitting a Proposal

Applicants will need to follow the detailed proposal instructions found in the Proposal Instructions document to ensure the proposal meets all requirements and is ready for review.

  • To submit your finalized proposal, email it to wildlife.realestateproposals@state.co.us​​. ​
  • If the link does not work, please copy and paste the link into your email.
  • All applicants will receive a confirmation email from CPW acknowledging it has been received. Please contact Amanda Nims at amanda.nims@state.co.us​ or (303) 291-7269 if you do not receive an email receipt acknowledgement within 24 hours from the RFP deadline. 

​​​


​How does the CWHP fund conservation across Colorado?

The CWHP is an incentive-based, voluntary program that accomplishes strategic wildlife conservation goals and/or public access goals using conservation easements, public access easements, and in some circumstances, fee title purchases. Priority is given to conservation easements and public access easements over fee title per CPW policy and title 33-4-102.7 C.R.S..

From the program's inception in 2006 through 12/31/2022, CPW has invested approximately $189,200,000 across Colorado to secure:

  • Conservation easements on 291,000 acres
  • Public access on 146,800 acres
  • Fee title on 33,000 acres
  • River bank access along 383 miles of river bank

The CWHP leaves a lasting legacy that ensures Colorado’s natural resources and critical wildlife habitat is protected, and that there will always be wildlife-related recreational opportunities available.

Where does CWHP funding come from?​​

Funding for qualified projects comes from revenue generated by the sale of Habitat Stamps​ from sportspeople, from revenue generated by the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, from Great Outdoors Colorado​ (GOCO), and occasionally from federal funding sources.

See the CWHP fact sheet for more funding details.​

Additional Program Information

Colorado Parks and Wildlife recognizes that maintaining wildlife-compatible agriculture on the landscape is an important benefit that can be realized through appropriately crafted conservation easements and land management plans. 

All conservation easement projects funded through the CWHP will have an accompanying management plan that must be agreed upon by the landowner and CPW prior to closing of the project. The management plan typically includes provisions for the type, timing, and duration of livestock grazing and recreational activities and overall management of habitat to protect or enhance the property’s conservation values identified in the conservation easement. 

Landowners are encouraged to provide a clear vision of the future of their property, ideally in the RFP application, prior to submitting their Proposal. 

It is not required that CPW hold conservation easements funded through the CWHP; a Third Party (i.e., land trusts, local governments, or other conservation organizations qualified to hold conservation easements under federal and state law) may hold the conservation easement at a landowner’s request.

Proposals are scored and ranked through a rigorous review process to evaluate strategic conservation impacts, biological significance, public benefits, and project feasibility. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their local CPW Area Wildlife Manager or appropriate designee for assistance describing the wildlife and habitat values accurately and to discuss the merits of their Proposal.

Proposals are awarded funding based on approval by the Parks and Wildlife Commission. Applicants will be notified of the Commission’s final award decisions following the May 2024 Commission meeting.

All conservation easements are required by law to be monitored annually. Third Party conservation easement holders are required to submit to CPW a copy of the annual monitoring report for each conservation easement that receives funding from the CWHP.  

Public access is not required for all conservation easement projects, but compensation is available for granting wildlife related public access easements to CPW. Landowners are welcome to submit proposals for projects where the sole purpose is to provide hunting or fishing access to the public through a public access easement, without an associated conservation easement. 

Under Colorado law, terms of the transaction become a matter of public record after the project is completed and closed. Additionally, it is important for CPW and our major funding partners to provide accurate information to the public regarding the CWHP efforts to protect vital habitats and provide hunting and fishing access opportunities. Applicants should be aware that after a project is closed, information about the transaction, including funding amounts, may be used by CPW for internal planning and public information purposes.  

All real estate transactions in this program are subject to an appraisal to verify value.

​Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult their legal and financial advisors when contemplating any real estate transaction associated with the CWHP.

​Contact the CWHP 

For more information about the CWHP or the application process, please contact:  

Amanda Nims
Land Protection Specialist and CWHP Program Manager
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
(303) 291-7269
amanda.nims@state.co.us


 

Habitat Stamp logo image   GOCO image