Wildlife mandate in statute:

“It is the policy of the state of Colorado that the wildlife and their environment are to be protected, preserved, enhanced, and managed for the use, benefit, and enjoyment of the people of this state and its visitors. It is further declared to be the policy of this state that there shall be provided a comprehensive program designed to offer the greatest possible variety of wildlife-related recreational opportunity to the people of this state and its visitors and that, to carry out such program and policy, there shall be a continuous operation of planning, acquisition, and development of wildlife habitats and facilities for wildlife-related opportunities.”

The Commission:

  • Name: Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission
  • Regulatory or advisory: Regulatory
  • Number of voting members: 11
  • Term length: 4 years; no member may serve more than two consecutive terms
  • How selected: Appointed by Governor
  • Senate confirmation required: Yes
  • Selection criteria per statute:

“The eleven voting members of the commission are as follows: Three members who are sports persons who can demonstrate a reasonable knowledge of wildlife issues and who have obtained a hunting or fishing license…for at least each of the three years prior to their appointments. One of the members appointed…must be an outfitter…Three members who are actively involved in production agriculture as owners or lessees of the agricultural property and owners or partial owners of the commodities produced on the land and who can demonstrate a reasonable knowledge of wildlife issues; Three members who can demonstrate that they regularly engage in outdoor recreation and utilize parks resources. One member…shall represent a nonprofit organization that supports and promotes the conservation and enhancement of Colorado’s wildlife and habitat, recognizes and promotes primarily nonconsumptive wildlife use, and has expertise in wildlife issues, wildlife habitat, or wildlife management;  and two members appointed from the public at-large. In appointing members…the governor shall make appointments that ensure that a reasonable balance of the following areas of knowledge and experience, as they relate to parks and wildlife, are represented:  Outdoor business, service as a current or former local elected official, youth outdoor education, wildlife biology or science, energy, conservation, beneficial uses of water, land conservation and conservation easements, and diversified trails interests and activities. The governor shall give preference to persons with experience or expertise in multiple areas of knowledge…Of the voting members appointed to the commission, there shall not be a difference of more than one person between those members affiliated with any major political party. To the extent possible, voting members shall be appointed to the commission in a manner that ensures balanced geographical representation of diverse areas of the state. At least four voting members shall be appointed from west of the continental divide.”

“The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is a citizen board, appointed by the Governor, which sets regulations and policies for Colorado’s state parks and wildlife programs.”

The Agency:

  • Name: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
  • Type: Standalone agency
  • Title of Agency Director: Director
  • Selection process: Appointed by the Parks and Wildlife Commission
  • Mission statement from agency website:

“The mission of Colorado Parks and Wildlife is to perpetuate the wildlife resources of the state, to provide a quality state parks system, and to provide enjoyable and sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities that educate and inspire current and future generations to serve as active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources.”

Revenue for Colorado Wildlife, FY22-23:

Other: Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) (9%), Other/Donations (6%), Lottery (2%), State & Local Grants (1%)

Source: Colorado Parks and Wildlife Funding, FY22-23

Find Your State

America’s Wildlife Values was an extensive 2018 nationwide survey led by Colorado State University of public attitudes towards wildlife. Findings were compared with a 2004 survey to identify trends. Researchers also surveyed personnel at state wildlife agencies. Reports are available for national, state and agency results. (Some state agencies did not participate.)

State Report

National Report