© Mike Norton (Colorado)

Colorado Division of Wildlife

Our Mission

To perpetuate the wildlife resources of the state and provide people the opportunity to enjoy them.

Our Work

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) manages the state's 960 wildlife species. It regulates hunting and fishing activities by issuing licenses and enforcing regulations. The Division also manages more than 230 wildlife areas for public recreation, conducts research to improve wildlife management activities, provides technical assistance to private and other public landowners concerning wildlife and habitat management, and develops programs to protect and recover threatened and endangered species. Wildlife regulations are established by the eight-member Wildlife Commission.

From CDOW's Strategic Plan

It is the policy of the State of Colorado that wildlife species and their environments are to be protected, preserved, enhanced, and managed for the use, benefit, and enjoyment of the people of this state and its visitors. To carry out this policy, the Colorado Division of Wildlife employs a continuous operation of planning, acquisition, and development of wildlife habitats and facilities for wildlife-related opportunities.

The following management principles represent some of the core beliefs that guide the Division in fulfilling its mission, creating its goals and management strategies, and in the decision-making processes at all levels of the organization. These principles reflect the Division's most deeply held values and ideals.

  • Wildlife conservation, use and enjoyment including the rich traditions of fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing are part of Colorado’s outdoor heritage, economic future, and overall quality of life.
  • A primary consideration in wildlife management decisions is to maintain healthy, diverse and abundant wildlife.
  • The quality, quantity, and conservation of wildlife habitat are essential to maintaining the state’s diverse wildlife population and wildlife related uses.
  • Science-based management decisions are essential to the conservation and management of Colorado’s wildlife. Wildlife management decisions will include consideration of impacts to local communities as well as other social and economic information.
  • Partnerships and the involvement of private property owners, other agencies, local governments, public and private groups, citizens and volunteers are critical to the protection and management of Colorado’s
    wildlife and wildlife habitat.
  • Wildlife education and information enhances the public’s ability to be wise stewards of wildlife, exhibit a strong conservation ethic, and support sound principles of wildlife management.

CDOW Initiatives

  • Colorado Wildlife Action Plan

    The Colorado wildlife action plan identifies useful, universal conservation priorities while also addressing species and habitat protection, restoration, enhancement, and information gaps.

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  • Colorado Division of Wildlife Conservation Funding Programs

    The Colorado Division of Wildlife offers several grant programs for species conservation and habitat improvement. There are programs appropriate for individual landowners and for conservation organizations.

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  • Wetland Focus Areas

    Wetland Focus Areas are designated by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, for the purpose of implementing the goals of the Division's Wetland Wildlife Conservation Program at a local level.

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