PLNR-19-4: Guiding Principles: State Wildlife Management

WHEREAS the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is appointed by the Governor to oversee the management of Colorado’s wildlife populations through the work of Colorado Parks and Wildlife; and

WHEREAS the management of Colorado’s diverse and abundant wildlife populations is highly complex and requires that management decisions be based on the recommendations of professionally trained wildlife managers who, in turn, base their recommendations on accurate and complete biological and scientific information obtained through long-term data collection; and

WHEREAS some species are managed by federal agencies due to their migratory status and effective joint management tools may need to be explored; and

WHEREAS recreational hunting and habitat preservation and active management are critical and effective wildlife management tools; and

WHEREAS the growth in Colorado’s human population will result in additional pressure on wildlife habitat due to continued development of wildland urban interface (WUI) acres, privately owned land will be increasingly involved in wildlife management issues and decisions; and

WHEREAS hunting license allocations are an essential tool for wildlife management, as wildlife can be better dispersed across public lands to avoid overcrowding which results in a balanced range for wildlife across public and private lands; and

WHEREAS predator management is often emotionally charged but continues to be a management tool that needs consideration and a specific example occurred when state legislation created arbitrary conditions specifically on management of black bears after which bear-human conflicts became much more frequent and more severe causing a number of bears to be destroyed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and wildlife officers spending an exorbitant amount of time dealing with bear-human conflicts; and

WHEREAS Colorado Parks and Wildlife management programs receive no general fund tax dollars, but are supported primarily by sportsmen and women via purchase of hunting and fishing licenses; and

WHEREAS recreational hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing are important economic drivers for the Western Colorado economy; and

WHEREAS CPW has established a number of programs to educate the public about wildlife related issues including youth hunting, women hunting skills, among others; and

WHEREAS culturally, hunting and fishing provide important sources of food for some in our communities.


  • Supports recreational hunting and habitat management as critical management tools available to maintain the science based CPW population objectives; and
  • Recognizes thatwildlife management is a matter of science and fact, and is the professional obligation and responsibility of the State of Colorado and the CPW, and opposes any ballot measures and state laws which would usurp the wildlife management responsibilities of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission; and
  •  Supports acknowledgement and inclusion of private landowners and sportsmen and women in wildlife management, planning and decision making; and
  • Supports decision-making based onscientific input from CPW managers on wildlife management issues; and
  • Urges Colorado Parks and Wildlife to aggressively manage predator populations to the full extent of their authority to balance biologically sustainable populations with protections for human safety and property rights.
  • Supports wildlife management outreach and education designed to ensure public trust that can reduce non-productive, emotionally based, non-scientific driven proposals; and
  • Supports cooperative agreements between federal and state agencies to manage migratory species (e.g. Turkey Vultures).

Adopted 9/21/2019

Amended 9/7/2023

Incorporates and replaces the following resolutions:

  • PLNR 09-1, Grazing Permits, Ensuring Compliance with NEPA
  • PLNR 09-2, Wildlife Management
  • PLNR 98-5, Youth Hunting Program
  • PLNR 05-1, Hunting Allowing Use of Private Landowner Licenses on State Lands
  • PLNR 06-2, Hunting License Allocations
  • PLNR 06-3, Prairie Dogs, Opposing Limitations on Take of
  • PLNR 02-5, Bear Populations, Management of
  • PLNR 02-7, Elk Population Management Efforts

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