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Friday, September 29, 2023

Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program accepting proposals

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is pleased to announce the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program (CWHP) 2022 request for proposals. 

The CWHP is a statewide program that supports CPW’s mission by offering funding opportunities to private or public landowners who wish to protect wildlife habitat on their property, and/or provide wildlife-related recreational access to the public.

The CWHP is an incentive-based program that funds conservation easements, public access easements and fee title purchases to accomplish strategic wildlife conservation and public access goals.

Funding for the 2022 cycle is approximately $11 million and is made possible by revenue generated from the sale of the Habitat Stamp, hunting and fishing licenses and through CPW’s partnership with Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO).

To apply

The landowner or a third party representative must complete application forms which address one or more of the following CPW’s 2022 funding priorities:

• Public access for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing.

• Big game winter range and migration corridors.

• Protecting habitat for species of concern (specifically those Species of Greatest Conservation Need, as identified in the CPW Statewide Action Plan).

• Riparian areas and wetlands.

• Landscape-scale parcels and parcels that provide connectivity to conserved lands.

2022 funding preferences include working farms and ranches and properties adjacent to wildlife crossings. Application materials are available at https://cpw.state.co.us/cwhp. 

All proposals must be received by 5 p.m. on Oct. 13. 

Completed applications are to be emailed to Wildlife.RealEstateProposals@state.co.us.

Applicants will receive a confirmation email acknowledging receipt.

The CWHP funds conservation easements held by CPW or qualified third parties. Third parties may submit a proposal on behalf of the landowner and applications must be signed by the landowner(s). It is strongly recommended that applicants contact the CWHP manager before submitting an application.

Additional information

CPW recognizes that maintaining wildlife-compatible agriculture on the landscape is an important benefit that can be achieved through conservation easements and land management plans. All conservation easements funded through the CWHP will require a management plan. The plan must be agreed upon by the landowner and CPW prior to closing, and may include provisions for the type, timing and duration of livestock grazing, recreational activities and overall management of wildlife habitat.

Landowners are encouraged to develop a clear vision for the future of the property prior to submitting a proposal. Proposals are scored and ranked through a rigorous review process to evaluate strategic conservation impacts, biological significance, public benefits and project feasibility. Local CPW staff can help describe the wildlife and habitat values accurately. Local CPW office contact information may be found at https://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Maps/CPW_Areas.pdf. 

Initial funding recommendations will be deliberated in March 2023. Final decisions on which projects will move forward is expected to be determined at the Parks and Wildlife Commission’s May 2023 meeting.

All conservation easement properties are required by law to be monitored annually. Third-party conservation easement holders will be required to submit to CPW copies of the annual monitoring report for each conservation easement funded through the CWHP.

Public access is not required for all conservation easement projects, but compensation is available for granting wildlife-related public access to CPW. Landowners are welcome to submit proposals for projects where the sole purpose is to provide hunting or fishing access 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 major funding partners to provide accurate information to the public regarding the CWHP’s efforts to protect vital habitats and provide hunting and fishing access opportunities. Applicants should be aware that after a project has closed, information about the transaction, including funding amounts, may be used by CPW for internal planning and public information purposes.

All CWHP real estate transactions are subject to an appraisal and an appraisal review 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 information

For additional information about the CWHP or application process, please contact: Amanda Nims, CWHP Manager, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Real Estate Section, 6060 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216, (303) 291-7269, Amanda.nims@state.co.us.

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