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Colorado Parks and Wildlife modernizes operations, website

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EL PASO COUNTY -

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is updating how it does business by updating and overhauling its website, which changes how permits are handled.

Colorado's parks and wildlife divisions were separate before a merger in 2011, but when that changed,  they began to work together.  In 2018, that process will be complete, and it might save the organization money.

The operation allowed CPW to, "Migrate the information from all Parks and Wildlife customers to a single server," according to Michelle Mulrony, with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 

Why is this important for CPW? Partly, because it will help to save paper, which helps the environment.

"For parks everything has been handwritten," continued Mulrony. 

However, this has changed, and now the park sides of operations have moved digital. 

"Staffing, [printing everything] was not an efficient use of time."

For CPW, time and staffing are precious resources. 

"Financially CPW has always struggled, trying to keep up with the times," Mulrony went on. 

In addition to streamlining certain processes for users and staff, CPW hopes the new site might increase revenue because everything the organization has to offer will be available in one place.

"Right now we're in the negative, and if we don't change that, we will have to cut positions."

The problem is multifaceted but deals primarily with inflation. 

According to CPW, funding for the parks side of operations is kept completely apart from the wildlife side. Park pass and camping fees can be raised but the park side of operations can only make so much money per year, as mandated by state statute. CPW has hit that cap due to the high park visitation rates. In the fiscal year of 2015, the state parks saw more than 13-million visitors. 

Additionally, CPW is finding it increasingly difficult to provide the same quality experience to hunters and fishers as they have in the past. CPW says, "The last price increase for resident licenses was in 2005." Since then they report operating costs going up. The result was that 50 positions were defunded and $40-million was cut from the wildlife budget. 

In 2016, 18 public meetings were held across the state with 85 percent of attendees supporting an increase in license fees in order to aid in the sustainability of Parks and Wildlife programs. 

As a point of reference, a 2017 report from Colorado Parks and Wildlife shows all of the funding sources for wildlife management adding up to $212 million with CPW claiming that 80 percent of those funds came from sportsmen and women. 

Of course, cutting positions could very easily affect residents' ability to hunt and fish among other activities. 

"It's important that we have the same amount of people that we do now, in order to continue being able to provide those licenses."

But what will this change do for you the customer? When can you apply for licenses? What payments will be required or changed? For that information, click here

"It's going to be a huge change," Mulrony finished. 


*nature shots courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

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