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Live Life Outside
Live Life Outside
CPW staff relocate a bear cub to a new den.

Working to Conserve Colorado

Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s conservation teams aim to nurture healthy landscapes and coexistence between humans and wildlife for generations to come. Our highest priority projects aim to mitigate damages to high-risk species and the habitats they rely on. By balancing species-specific needs with policy requirements and broad, habitat-based projects, we can effectively manage all of Colorado’s wildlife.

Image of a Black-footed ferret standing on its hind legs

Protecting Wildlife

Safe Wildlife Passage

In 2016, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), in cooperation with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and many other partners, completed Colorado’s first-of-its-kind wildlife overpass and underpass system on Highway 9 between Green Mountain Reservoir and Kremmling. This innovative solution resulted in a 90 percent reduction in wildlife-vehicle collisions. During the first four years of monitoring, there were over 83,000 mule deer success movements through or over the seven crossing structures.

Black Footed Ferret

Absent from Colorado since the early 1940s, we began an Eastern Plains reintroduction program in 2013, releasing 300 ferrets to six Colorado sites. Currently there are about 600 ferrets split between captive breeding facilities and wild relocation sites.


In the 1990s, CPW began a seven-year effort to reintroduce Lynx back into the San Juan Mountains. The reintroduction resulted in astounding success, and our current monitoring efforts suggest that Colorado is home to 150-250 individual animals.

Image of two young people posing with their arms up at the edge of a cliff with a mountain view.

Protecting Public Lands

State Wildlife Areas

CPW manages 769,000 acres of state-owned lands that provide habitat for Colorado’s 950 species of wildlife as well as wildlife-related recreation to the public.

State Parks

CPW manages 200,000 acres of land across 43 state parks. Our resource stewardship team works to conserve the wildlife, natural features and cultural resources in each Colorado state park. Since 2002, over 100 major forest management projects have been implemented to significantly reduce the fire hazard at 20 State Parks. Nearly 5,000 acres have been treated with another 7,000 acres in development.

Clean Up Efforts

In 2019 volunteers contributed over 1,900 hours spent on some kind of clean up effort. By 2041 we could have 38,000 volunteer hours dedicated to cleaning up public lands.

Image of two fox kits play fighting in the dirt.

Protecting Habitats

Threatened and Endangered Species Habitats

The Colorado Natural Areas Program, working with interested landowners and dedicated volunteers, helps to conserve Colorado’s best places well into the future. To date, more than 250 rare, threatened or endangered species and communities are monitored and cooperatively protected at 95 designated sites in Colorado.

Colorado Forests

Wildlife technicians, biologists, and park staff actively manage our forested properties for the benefit of wildlife and visitors. We have staff collaborating with other state and federal government agencies to assist in accomplishing forest and fire management on our public lands. CPW assists private landowners with forest management through our private lands biologists and Habitat Partnership Program.

Colorado Waters

Aquatic Nuisance species can devastate wildlife habitat by outcompeting native species for food and shelter, and disrupting wildlife related recreation. CPW has built up an extensive network of approximately 72 boat inspection and decontamination stations that conduct over 450,000 inspections annually. There have been over 150 infested mussel boats intercepted coming into Colorado from out of state.

Image of two black youth leading their backpacking group at State Forest State Park.

We Can’t Do it Alone. We Need Your Help.

Getting involved today can help conserve Colorado for future generations.

Raise Awareness

Help us raise awareness about our work to conserve Colorado wildlife by sharing your favorite stories, tweeting, and reminding your friends and family to enjoy our natural spaces responsibly.


Making financial donations to our agency and partners helps us to complete more work in the field toward conserving the species you love.

  • Spend your extra $2 buying a lottery ticket. In 2020, $14.2 million from the Colorado Lottery and $48.2 million from GOCO went to funding wildlife and the outdoors.

  • The threatened and endangered species tax checkoff directly supports our conservation work. You can donate all or a portion of your tax refund.


CPW offers countless volunteer opportunities, many of them conservation-oriented!

If you have time or skills to offer, we're always looking for camp hosts, critter counters, help at events, photographers, clerical support, clean up crews and much, much more. Volunteer efforts make many of our conservation goals attainable! If you wish to know more about giving your time to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, visit our Volunteer page.