Colorado Parks and Wildlife has $11M for landowners interested in conservation
Last week, Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced its Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program 2022 request for proposals. The habitat program offers statewide funding opportunities for landowners who wish to protect important wildlife habitat, provide wildlife-related recreational access to the public, and, if appropriate, sell their property to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The incentive-based program funds conservation easements and public access easements to accomplish wildlife conservation and public access goals. 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 can put in applications for projects that address one or more of the following Parks and Wildlife 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 Colorado Parks and Wildlife Statewide Action Plan)
- Riparian areas and wetlands
- Landscape-scale parcels and parcels that provide connectivity to conserved lands
All proposals must be received by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13. Completed applications are to be emailed to: 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 through the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program will require a management plan. The plan must be agreed upon by the landowner and Parks and Wildlife, 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 their property prior to submitting a proposal. Proposals are scored through a rigorous review process to evaluate strategic conservation impacts, biological significance, public benefits and project feasibility. If a landowner needs help describing the wildlife and habitat values accurately, 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 through 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 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.
All Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program real estate transactions are subject to an appraisal to verify value. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult their legal and financial advisors when contemplating any real estate transaction associated with the program.
Initial funding recommendations will be deliberated in March 2023. For additional information about the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program manager or application process, contact program manager Amanda Nims at 303-291-7269 or email@example.com
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