Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a big job: managing and protecting 42 beautiful state parks throughout the state, perpetuating Colorado’s full range of furry and finny wildlife and providing enjoyable and sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities.
I’ve been a Colorado taxpayer for many years, but only recently learned about a small action I can take to support a key part of CPW’s work: Make a contribution through my state income tax return to the “Colorado Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund. ” Nongame wildlife are those species that are not hunted, trapped or fished. And there are a lot of these critters in Colorado—an estimated 750 species. Read more
A golden eagle. CPW file photo.
Did you know that Colorado has more than 170 known active bald eagle nests and over 80 known active golden eagle nests? Valentine’s Day is almost here and it marks the height of eagle breeding season.
February is a good time to get out and see some of these majestic animals begin to build nests. Two species of eagles call Colorado home: the bald eagle and the golden eagle. The state’s eagle population has increased dramatically since the 1970s, when Colorado only had two documented nests of bald eagles. Multiple Colorado state parks offer eagle viewing opportunities, but Colorado’s Lake Pueblo and Barr Lake state parks both provide excellent habitat for eagles to winter and nest.
These parks provide two eagle viewing opportunities in early February: Barr Lake’s Fifth Annual Eagle Fest is Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lake Pueblo’s 21st Annual 2017 Pueblo Eagle Days are Feb. 3 to 5. Read more
My brother and I camping with our parents.
From as early as I can remember, my summers were spent in campgrounds. I would hike with my parents, swim in the lake with my brothers and ride bikes with kids I hardly knew. My parents gifted me an incredible series of summers but, as I grew older, life stepped in. I took summer jobs, moved to a city, got a full time job and the lazy days of hanging out by campfires slipped into the past.
A few months ago, I was visiting one of Colorado’s state parks for a work project, and someone mentioned the Camp Hosts. Camp Hosts? This had my attention. Apparently there are people whose job it is to live at our state park and state wildlife area campgrounds for the summer season, greeting arriving campers, promoting interpretive/educational activities and performing minor maintenance tasks. In return, they get to live there. Amazing. I needed to know more, so I headed down to Cherry Creek State Park to do a ride-along with a few of these lucky folks. Read more
By Mike DelliVeneri
Be grateful you live in such an amazing state surrounded by some pretty awesome people. Photo by © Mike DelliVeneri/CPW
It’s November in Colorado, which means our famous peaks will start to turn white, the bighorn sheep will clash and both people and wildlife alike will brace for winter. November also means it’s time to loosen our belts and prepare for turkey, stuffing, green beans and mashed potatoes. But before you do, we thought we’d remind you (in the true spirit of Thanksgiving) just some of the reasons why we should be thankful to live in the Centennial State. Read more
The Chaffee County Shooting Range
A shooter takes aim at the Chaffee County Shooting Range. All photos by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW
“Don’t tell anyone about this place,” said the target shooter as the smell from the rifle rounds he just shot hung in the air. “This place is great and I don’t want it to get too crowded.”
“Sorry, but telling people about this place is why I’m here,” I replied, smiling.
“This place” is the Chaffee County Shooting Range, or “the best, nonfee, public range in the state,” as Jim Aragon, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) area wildlife manager for Area 13, proudly stated. And from my tour of the range, I would enthusiastically agree. While I understand the shooter’s worry, with the range covering more than 55 acres, I think there is room for more visitors. Read more
Photo by Alicia Cohn/CPW.
Are you ready for fall? Colorado state parks are already showcasing the best of changing nature, with cooler temperatures for hikes, leaves bursting into red, yellow and orange, and unique animal mating rituals on display in the mornings and evenings.
If you’re hunting for fall colors near Denver, where it still looks like summer downtown, there are multiple state parks within easy driving distance that already look and feel like fall. Here are 4 parks perfect for day trips: Read more
Article and Photos by Scott Willoughby
Spawning kokanee by © Scott Willoughby
In a state that pretty much has it all, the most glaring gap in Colorado’s vast menu of outdoor options becomes obvious at its borders. The ability to walk across state lines almost anywhere without getting your feet wet serves as evidence of a basic reality: We’re landlocked. High and dry.
For a large chunk of the fishing world, that could be considered a problem. There are plenty of fish in the sea, as they say, and the opportunity to chase a wide variety of them is what drives many an angler to wet a line. But in the network of rivers and lakes draining from the mountainous spine of the nation to oceans east and west, well, the species selection falls a bit short by comparison. Sure, we’ve got a respectable assortment of more than 40 types of cold-, cool- and warm-water fish species statewide in Colorado, but it seems like the grass can always get a little greener. Read more
Urad Lake. Photo by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW.
If you are looking to either fish, hike, see the aspens change, wildlife watch or all of the above, you can do far worse than a trip to Urad Lake.
Urad Lake is in the Urad Lake State Wildlife Area, the newest SWA in Colorado. Located off of Jones Pass and Berthoud Pass in Clear Creek County, it is the result of a cooperative effort between the Climax Molybdenum Company (Henderson Mine), the City of Golden and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).
The property was historically open to the public for several decades, even though privately owned by the mine. In 2011, the property closed to the public as Henderson Mine did a massive, multimillion dollar mitigation project in the Woods Creek Valley.
During the closure, the mine, City of Golden (which owns the water and reservoir) and CPW were able to work out a long-term lease to turn over the management of the property to Colorado Parks and Wildlife which reopened the area in 2014. During that time, CPW stocked the lake with 6,000 10- to 12-inch cutbow trout. The lake is full of small brook trout, recently stocked rainbow trout and plenty of the cutbows. Read more
A father and son hunting GMU 37. Photo by © Wayne D. Lewis
If Colorado’s big-game seasons were a football game, we’d be halfway through the first quarter. Muzzleloader season just ended (but keep your muzzleloader out for rifle seasons, if you choose) and bowhunting continues until Sept. 25. If you haven’t ventured afield yet, there are still over-the-counter licenses available. Time to get in the game.
Wayne D. Lewis is the editor and art director of Colorado Outdoors magazine.
Article & Photos by Scott Willoughby
Floating a scenic slice of the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon. Photo by © Scott Willoughby.
When it comes to their favorite places to wet a line, fishermen are pretty tight-lipped by nature. So it comes as no surprise that the one-year anniversary of the designation of Browns Canyon National Monument came and went last February with little fanfare among Colorado’s angling community.
Besides, nothing has really changed along the scenic slice of the Arkansas River that qualifies among the nation’s premier public trout fisheries. And that’s precisely the point.
“I grew up in big, wide-open spaces in Nevada, and there’s been enormous change to the landscapes — transmission lines, oil and gas coming in, major hard-rock mines and other projects,” U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) director Neil Kornze said while rafting through the newly minted monument last July. “So I love it when I see a community come together and say: ‘Let’s not just trust that this will always be the way we love it. Let’s do something about it.’ It’s not necessarily about changing something in a dramatic way. Sometimes it’s about keeping what you’ve got and what you love.” Read more