Each year, as the anticipation mounts for the photo issue, I find myself reflecting on the year and how intertwined our future is with our past. I am grateful for the abundance of wildlife, healthy habitat and our world-class state parks that provide the intersection of conservation and outdoor recreation.
For more than a century, conservation work has been the primary mission of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). Nationwide, wildlife agencies were created to ensure the prosperity of both game and nongame species. CPW employees are dedicated professionals who work passionately for Colorado’ resources every day. And the agency is fortunate to be supported by dedicated sportsmen and sportswomen who cherish Colorado’s parks and wildlife.
Colorado’s natural beauty, land, water and wildlife are the top priorities for the agency. We take our responsibility to operate our 41 state parks — each of which protects valuable landscapes — and to ethically manage wildlife in public trust very seriously. The work of CPW staff is done with dedication and an unwavering sense of duty.
Conserving our parks, landscapes, waters and wildlife is a calling for CPW employees. These resources provide a sense of place and purpose for all Coloradans. Not only do we gaze at these natural wonders with awe, we also feel their comforting and healing beauty deep in our soul. When the sun rises on a meadow and the mist lifts, you can hear nature’s song — Colorado’s heartbeat.
Our mission underscores the importance of caring for our land, water and wildlife. These natural resources are what makes Colorado special. Not only do these resources perpetuate the intrinsic values of our state’s citizens, they also support a robust economy and our vibrant lifestyle. Assuring the sustainability of our natural resources and the variety of recreation opportunities they provide is vital to Colorado’s future.
Hunters and anglers play a major role in sustaining Colorado’s natural resources through their willingness to pay for conservation through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses. The health and well-being of our land, water and wildlife could not be accomplished in Colorado without the support and investment made by these individuals.
Through the support of hunters, anglers, park users and all Coloradans, CPW is working on long-term sustainability for our resources. We cannot predict the future, but are planning for it.
Colorado faces a growing number of challenges as we see unprecedented population growth, urban sprawl, habitat loss, continued debates over water use and a growing segment of citizens who are not connected to nature and its care.
It is now more important than ever to work together to chart our course in achieving a shared vision and investment in Colorado. We need to rise above our differences to meet the demands of the people and the needs of wildlife. It is on each of us to work on largescale conservation, and to invest in the resources that sustain us.
We want to emerge from the challenges stronger and equipped with better strategies to maintain and improve Colorado’s outdoor future. You have entrusted CPW with a very important mission. As the outdoor recreation industry continues to become one of the nation’s largest economic sectors, we must focus on the intersection of conservation and outdoor recreation. We must protect our public lands and ensure the health of our wildlife resources. Despite the challenges we face, CPW remains a leader in outdoor recreation and wildlife management, and we owe a lot of that success to you.
So as you view these wonderful photographs, remember that CPW staffers are doing everything they can to make sure these wildlife species will always be part of Colorado’s future.
Bob D. Broscheid, Director
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Images from the Colorado Outdoors annual photography issue. All images are copyrighted. Colorado Outdoors is published six times a year by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. To order Colorado Outdoors call 1-800-417-8986.