DENVER - Today, Governor Polis, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) announced the recipients of the third round of the Outdoor Regional Partnership grants. These grants support coalitions that bring together conservation and outdoor recreation interests, land managers and local government to ensure that Colorado’s land, water, and wildlife thrive while enhancing equitable access to Colorado’s world-class outdoors. These grants are the result of a landmark Executive Order signed by Governor Polis creating the Outdoor Regional Partnerships Initiative. This effort will chart a long-term, equitable and sustainable vision for the future of Colorado’s outdoors and outdoor recreation that is driven by bottom-up community planning.
“Colorado’s outdoor recreation is a vital part of our economy and Colorado way of life, and I’m excited to support protecting and preserving our lands. This third round of Outdoor Regional Partnership Grants will expand conservation efforts to new parts of the state and continue to implement ways to better manage, plan, and mitigate Colorado’s outdoor recreation while providing world-class opportunities for hiking, fishing, boating and wildlife watching,” said Governor Jared Polis.
Grant recipients include four coalitions based in Colorado’s central mountain region. Together these partnerships will explore opportunities to collaborate through a Mountain Community Outdoor Collective. The Regional Partnership Initiative now covers most of Colorado’s Western Slope, including the White River National Forest, the most visited National Forest in the United States.
“Regional Partnerships bring a new approach to balancing record-breaking outdoor recreation participation with increasing pressures on Colorado’s wildlife and other natural resources,” said CPW Acting Director Heather Dugan. “CPW is excited to continue growing this initiative across the state and to offer more opportunities for communities to engage in CPW’s work.”
“GOCO is delighted to welcome Colorado's mountain corridor communities to the statewide regional partnership network,” said Jackie Miller, GOCO Executive Director. “Lead partners know the value and urgency of balancing conservation and stewardship with outdoor access and have shown their commitment to working alongside diverse community members and organizations to do so. We’re hopeful for the creative solutions that will come from their efforts and the ways in which their work will contribute to a statewide vision for conservation, recreation and climate resilience.”
This third round of funding brings the total number of Colorado Outdoor Regional Partnerships to 14. CPW launched this initiative in 2020 with funding support from GOCO to establish collaborative partnerships across the state. CPW and GOCO will provide the fourth round of grant funding for Outdoor Regional Partnerships in the spring of 2023.
Regional Partnership Grant Funding Recipients:
Eagle County Community Wildlife Roundtable ($75,000)
The Roundtable was formed in 2020 by community members and organizations with the purpose of understanding and addressing issues facing wildlife populations, and the goal of leveraging diverse values, creativity, and resources to move toward positive action and enduring solutions to the complex wildlife issues in Eagle County. Awarded funding will support coalition development including goals, criteria, and priorities based on existing community engagement and land manager master plans.
Grand PLACES 2050 ($78,080)
(People, Land, Access, Conservation, Ecosystems, and Sustainability)
Grand PLACES 2050 strives to become a model coalition that sustainably manages Grand County’s natural and cultural resources in balance with quality outdoor recreation experiences. Funding for Grand PLACES 2050 will support conservation and recreation planning at the landscape scale by focusing on both short-term responsive planning and long-term prioritization.
Roaring Fork Outdoor Coalition ($75,000)
The Roaring Fork Coalition convenes land managers and decision makers to look at regional recreation challenges holistically to proactively move toward coordinated management and solutions. Awarded funding will help formalize the coalition, create a framework for collaboration, and establish a vision and goals for conservation and recreation in the region.
Summit County Outdoor Coalition ($75,000)
This new coalition will seek to understand and address issues facing wildlife populations, recreation, and landscape-scale ecosystems across Summit County. The goal of the coalition is to best manage the impacts of growth in outdoor recreation and support ecosystem health in the face of climate change. This new coalition will utilize roundtable formats and a science-based mapping tool to promote planning needs and projects for their community.
For more information, please see the Regional Partnerships Initiative page on the CPW website.