U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE
 
 Mountain-Prairie Region  Partners for Fish & Wildlife
COLORADO  KANSAS  MONTANA  NEBRASKA
NORTH DAKOTA  SOUTH DAKOTA  UTAH  WYOMING
 
Program Overview
 Photo of a restored wetland in Colorado

The Colorado Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program began in 1988 and has evolved into a truely statewide cooperative effort. Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), CPW Wetland Wildlife Conservation Program, Great Outdoors Colorado (lottery proceeds), Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, local Water and Soil Conservation Districts, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and over 1,000 landowners have combined to restore and protect wetland, upland, and riparian habitat.

Priorities

Colorado Partners for Fish and Wildlife sets project priorities based upon three principal factors:

  1. Federal trust species interests
  2. The goals of the Fish and Wildlife Service and our major partners
  3. Significant habitat restoration or management potential on private land must be available for the Partners Program to pursue projects

Where these three factors intersect is a key component for determination of where the program should focus its efforts in Colorado.

Goals

Long term goals for the Colorado Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program include:

  • Working with our partners to prevent the need for futher listing of species as endangered or threatened due to habitat loss
  • Restoring Colorado's riparian and wetland systems
  • Contributing to conservation on a landscape scale

The potential for success is best measured not in acres or miles but in the willingness of Colorado's landowners to participate in voluntary, targeted wildlife conservation. Given the significant landscape changes which have occurred and will continue to occur in Colorado, success will need to be measured in the continued viability of Colorado's biodiversity.

Technical Assistance

Colorado Partners for Fish and Wildlife provides advice and information on a variety of issues:

  • Wetland and riparian restoration
  • Food and shelter for fish and wildlife
  • Soil and water quality improvement
  • Grazing plans to benefit livestock and wildlife
  • Native plant restoration
  • Water level management

Wetland Projects

Photo of a wetland restoration project in Colorado

Wetland projects in Colorado are primarily restoration activities involving the use of contour terraces and water control to restore wet meadow vegetation. Seasonal and temporary water regimes predominate, providing nesting, foraging and migration habitat for resident and migratory species. Fencing and grazing management are often a part of our projects, particularly in the San Luis Valley where residual cover for nesting is often a principal goal.

Upland restoration and enhancement projects have centered on the habitat needs of the lesser prairie chicken and Gunnison sage grouse. In both cases, grazing management, re-vegetation, fencing, and alternate livestock water sources are the common techniques.

Fencing has been the most common riparian restoration and enhancement technique. The Colorado Partners Program has participated in re-vegetation efforts on occasion, but they are usually associated with projects where an immediate vegetative response is required. Stream restoration training is being acquired by Colorado Partners staff , and we hope to do more in-channel work in the future. It is expected that riparian restoration will be a major component of these projects.


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