Last week, Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced its 2022 Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program Request for Proposals. The Habitat Program provides statewide funding opportunities for property owners who want to protect important wildlife habitat, provide public wildlife-related recreational access, and, if desired, sell their property in Colorado. Parks and Wildlife.
The incentive program funds conservation easements and public access easements to achieve wildlife conservation and public access objectives. Funding for the 2022 cycle is approximately $11 million. Preferences include working farms and ranches and properties adjacent to wildlife crossings. Application materials are available at: CPW.State.co.us/cwhp. Applicants may submit applications for projects that address one or more of the following parks and wildlife funding priorities:
- Public access for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation
- Big game winter range and migration corridors
- Protect the habitat of species of special concern (especially species with the greatest need for conservation, as identified in Colorado’s National Parks and Wildlife Action Plan)
- Riparian areas and wetlands
- Landscape-scale parcels and parcels that provide connectivity to conserved lands
All proposals must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 13. Completed applications should be emailed to: Wildlife.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife 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 by the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program will require a management plan. The plan must be approved by the landowner and Parks and Wildlife, and may include provisions for the type, timing and duration of livestock grazing, recreational activities and overall wildlife habitat management.
Property owners are encouraged to develop a clear vision for the future of their property before submitting a proposal. Proposals are scored through a rigorous review process to assess strategic conservation impacts, biological significance, public benefits and project feasibility. If a landowner needs help in accurately describing wildlife and habitat values, they can contact their local parks and wildlife office for assistance.
All conservation easement properties are required by law to be monitored annually. Third-party conservation easement holders will be required to submit copies of the annual monitoring report for each conservation easement funded by the Colorado Wildlife Habitat program.
Public access is not required for all conservation easement projects, but compensation is available for granting wildlife-related public access to parks and wildlife. Landowners are invited to submit proposals for projects whose sole purpose is to provide hunting or fishing access through a public access easement, with no associated conservation easement.
All Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program real estate transactions are subject to appraisal to verify value. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult their legal and financial advisors when considering any real estate transaction associated with the program.
Initial funding recommendations will be deliberated in March 2023. For more information on the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program Manager or the application process, contact Program Manager Amanda Nims at 303-291-7269 or amanda.nims@state .co.us