Colorado leads the way in combining wildlife, parks agencies

Posted: May 31, 2011

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After 40 years of divorce, the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Colorado State Parks are set to become a single agency again, joined at the hip as a way to save money and create efficiencies in state government.

The two agencies, formerly hitched together in the 1960s and split in 1972, manage more than 300 state wildlife areas, 42 state parks and Colorado’s hunting and angling programs. They will become the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife on July 1, consolidating all their operations under a single umbrella.

Colorado isn’t the only Western state to consider shuffling around its parks and wildlife agencies this year in an effort to save money. But, so far in 2011, Colorado’s parks and wildlife merger has been the first to succeed. A similar merger proposal in Washington state is taking steps toward passage, while another in Oregon remains in a state Senate committee. A measure in Montana’s statehouse proposing to divide its state parks and wildlife agency failed over the winter.


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