This year marks the 80th anniversary of Colorado Outdoors, and we’re thankful for the ability to share the stories of conservation, wildlife and our sporting and recreation heritage with you over eight decades. Started in 1938 as a publication of the newly formed Colorado Game and Fish Commission, the original Colorado Conservation Comments has undergone several changes over the years to become the full-color bimonthly magazine you hold today. One thing that has not changed is our mission to deliver information about the intersection of hunting, angling, recreation and conservation that is perhaps more vital today than ever before.
Each year, the Photography Issue inspires all of us at Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) as an opportunity to see the wonders of our state through the eyes of our photographers. The images showcased in this annual photo issue highlight the amazing wildlife, awesome landscapes and the sportsmen and women and park visitors enjoying the abundance of Colorado. Their representations of how beloved our state’s resources are make the hard work of balancing conservation and outdoor recreation we do at CPW worth every moment.
The Photography Issue also closes out the year, which provides the perfect occasion to take time to be appreciative and be thankful for what we have, as well as to look forward at the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
We are so grateful for the support of our hunters, anglers, parks visitors and so many other Coloradans who understand, appreciate and participate in the conservation work that is at the core of CPW. It shows in the purchases of hunting and fishing licenses and parks passes, as well as in the more than 6,000 volunteers who contribute time and energy to our parks and projects. It shows in the number of calls placed to Operation Game Thief to prevent resource theft, and the wide-ranging group of residents who attend public meetings and submit comment forms on different wildlife and park management plans statewide. It is because of your support and contributions that the agency is able to enact our mission to perpetuate the wildlife resources of the state, provide a quality parks system and provide enjoyable and sustainable recreation opportunities that educate and inspire current and future generations to serve as active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources.
As part of our current generation of stewardship, we want to recognize our hunters, anglers, parks visitors and those purchasing registrations and permits for recreational vehicles. We thank you for your many contributions to conservation in Colorado through those purchases, as your participation in these activities is a major source of funding in managing the health of our land, water and wildlife. Colorado’s quality of life, outdoor heritage and economic prosperity are dependent on the health and sustainability of these natural treasures that you help us conserve and protect every day.
Looking to the future, we are also extremely thankful for the support of The Hunting, Fishing and Parks for Future Generations Act. Passed in May 2018, the bill provides the agency with several opportunities to continue working toward our mission, specifically addressing some of the challenges that CPW has faced over years of stagnant funding. The bill holds us to account on 10 key goals to address or begin addressing by 2025. We relish the ability to grow the number of hunters and anglers; improve and increase big-game populations through investing in habitat and conservation; begin planning the next Colorado state park; recruit and retain highly qualified employees; and engage all outdoor recreationists in maintaining and managing the common resources at the heart of our state. All 10 goals are published on our website, and we will report our annual progress to the legislature through 2025. While they are large, these goals are important to us and we know they are important to all of the residents and visitors to our state.
We are grateful every day for the opportunity to work with, play in and protect the natural resources of Colorado. As you marvel at the beautiful images captured in this year’s photo issue, consider the work it takes to maintain habitats, conserve more than 960 species and manage 41 state parks. The lands and the wildlife that you cherish are equally loved by the hundreds of dedicated professionals who work to ensure the health and prosperity of these resources every day. It is more than a career for CPW employees, it is a calling, and one we are proud to answer and to share with you.
The men and women of Colorado Parks and Wildlife are honored to be the face of conservation in Colorado, but it is all of us who make up its heart. And we are thankful for the opportunity to work with you in conserving and protecting the beauty of our state.
Bob D. Broscheid, Director
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Images from the Colorado Outdoors annual photography issue. All images are copyrighted.