By Randy Hampton
Special to The SUN
In 2011, the Colorado legislature merged the Division of Wildlife and Colorado State Parks to create Colorado Parks and Wildlife. As part of that merger, the legislature directed Colorado Parks and Wildlife to prepare a five-year plan to set a strategic direction for the agency and to identify cost savings, efficiencies and other effects of the merger.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is developing this five-year plan, dubbed the “Path Forward,” on a foundation of several other planning efforts that the agency has underway to address everything from big game management to parks and trails. The process is also drawing heavily on the strategic plans that the former Division of Wildlife and Colorado State Parks had in place.
“Colorado’s lands, waters, fish, and wildlife provide great recreational opportunities for millions of people and support local economies around our state,” said Rick Cables, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Charting a path forward as a merged agency will help us find synergies in our resource management and recreational activities.”
In developing the Path Forward, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reaching out to a wide spectrum of different interest groups, including some who might not have a lot of experience working with each other.
“In the past we had ‘wildlife’ stakeholders and ‘parks’ stakeholders,” Cables said. “Now we’re all working together in new ways to manage Colorado’s natural amenities and recreational resources.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is also canvassing citizens around Colorado. The agency will be holding Open House meetings later this summer around the state to give local residents the opportunity to learn more and share their views. The agency is also using the web and other technological resources to reach out and gather input.
“We encourage anyone with an interest in the management of Colorado’s parks, trails, fish and wildlife to share their views as Coloradans chart the agency’s Path Forward,” Cables said.
To learn more about the Path Forward, visit the CPW web page at http://wildlife.state.co.us/About/Pages/PathForward.aspx.