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Colorado Parks and Wildlife facts for kids

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Colorado Parks and Wildlife.JPG
The sign in front of the Fort Collins office.
Agency overview
Headquarters 1313 Sherman Street
Denver, Colorado
Agency executive
  • Dan Prenzlow, Director
Parent agency Colorado Department of Natural Resources

Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages the state parks system and the wildlife of the U.S. State of Colorado. The division currently manages the 41 state parks and 307 wildlife areas of Colorado.

The Colorado Natural Areas Program has 93 designated sites that in total protect more than 250 endangered, rare, or threatened species.


  • 1937 – The state legislature appointed a land board to create the first State Parks Board.
  • 1951 – The State Parks Board leased Cherry Creek recreation area from the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • 1963 – State Parks was merged with the Division of Wildlife.
  • 1971 – The State Recreational Trails Program was created.
  • 1972 – State Parks and the Division of Wildlife were separated.
  • 1977 – State Parks was requested to manage the snowmobile program for the state.
  • 1984 – State Parks became responsible for licensing river outfitters.
  • 1990 – State parks began managing the off-highway vehicle program.
  • 1992 - Voters approved the Great Outdoors Colorado constitutional amendment directing Colorado Lottery revenues to the outdoors, including 10 percent directly to state Parks and Wildlife division. About half goes to Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Trust Fund, which in turns grants money to the agency.
  • 2011 - Colorado State Parks and the Colorado Division of Wildlife are merged into Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Currently there are forty-one State Parks open to the public. The most recent, Staunton, opened in 2013. Lone Mesa and Fishers Peak will open in the coming years.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is a layman's group of eleven members who are appointed by the Governor with legislative approval. The Board is charged with representing various geographic regions of the state while providing oversight and setting agency policy in a democratic way to assure the agency is responsive to the citizens of Colorado. This board meets every other month to review and set policy.

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