Proposals sought for Wildlife Habitat Protection Program
Ryan Summerlin May 21, 2014
DENVER — Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is pleased to announce the 2014 Request for Proposals through the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Protection Program (CWHPP). The goal of the CWHPP is to support CPW’s mission and policy by providing long-term habitat conservation and protection and to provide sustainable public recreational opportunities. The CWHPP is an incentive-based and voluntary partnership program that utilizes conservation easements, public access easements, and in limited circumstances, fee title purchases.
The CWHPP provides landowners with funding opportunities for projects on their properties that protect important wildlife habitats and/or provide wildlife-related recreational access to the public. Funding available for the 2014 CWHPP will be approximately $9 million and is made possible through a conservation partnership of CPW’s Habitat Stamp Program (HSP) and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO). The CWHPP priorities are guided by Colorado’s State Wildlife Action Plan and specific requirements of the funding sources (HSP and GOCO).
To apply, a landowner must complete a project proposal form (“proposal”) for their property that addresses one or more of the following 2014 priorities:
• Big game winter range and migration corridors (emphasis on sagebrush, mountain shrub, pinyon-juniper, oakbrush, and aspen habitats)
• Riparian areas and wetlands
• Hunting access
• Fishing access
• Critical in-holdings within State Wildlife Areas
Land trusts, local governments, or other conservation groups may submit a proposal on behalf of a landowner. If the proposal involves a third party conservation easement, the entity submitting the proposal must be qualified to hold conservations easements under federal and state law.
All application materials, including the proposal form, will be available May 9 through CPW’s website: http://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/LandWaterCWHPP.aspx.
Proposals will be accepted through June 20 in electronic format only (PDF or Microsoft Word format). Proposals may be submitted by email, hand delivery or regular mail. Hand-delivered or mailed proposals should be in the form of a CD or other standard media. Please do not send the proposal by fax or paper copy. Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. on June 20 to be considered for the 2014 funding cycle.
Submit email proposals to: Wildlife.RealEstateProposals@state.co.us. The subject line should be labeled as, “2014 CWHPP [Proposal Title].” You may send more than one email if needed to accommodate attachments, but the proposal title and number identifier must be indicated in the subject line of each email (e.g., 2014 CWHPP [Proposal Title] 1 of 2). Each email will be limited to 20MB. You will receive a confirmation email acknowledging receipt of your proposal. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact Matt Lucia at (303) 291-7269.
Please submit hand delivered or mailed proposals (in the form of a CD or other standard media) to: Matt Lucia, Real Estate Section, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 6060 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216. The CD or other standard media should be clearly labeled as, “2014 CWHPP [Proposal Title]” with the contact information for the person or organization submitting the proposal.
The selection process is competitive. Proposals are scored and ranked through a rigorous review process to evaluate feasibility, strategic conservation impact, biological significance, and public benefits. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their local CPW Area Wildlife Manager or his/her designee for assistance describing the wildlife and habitat values accurately and to discuss the merits of their proposal.
Proposals are awarded funding based on approval by the CPW Commission. Applicants will be notified of the Commission’s final award decisions following the November 2014 Commission meeting.
Conservation easements and public access easements are preferred over fee title acquisitions per Commission policy. Fee title purchases may be considered for properties with exceptional habitat or recreational values in limited circumstances where conservation easements are not possible. All reasonable options in lieu of fee title purchases will be pursued.
It is not required that CPW hold conservation easements funded through the CWHPP; land trusts, local governments, or other conservation groups qualified to hold conservation easements may be part of the proposal process at a landowner’s request and may hold the conservation easement.
All projects involving conservation easements are required by law to be monitored annually. Third party conservation easement holders will be required to submit to CPW a copy of the annual monitoring report for each conservation easement that receives funding through the CWHPP.
All conservation easement projects funded through the CWHPP will have an accompanying management plan that must be agreed upon by the landowner and CPW prior to closing of the project. Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages landowners to develop a clear vision of the future of their property prior to entering into these negotiations.
Public access is not required for conservation easement projects. However, conservation easement projects that separately convey to CPW limited or year-round public access for wildlife-related recreation will be eligible for access compensation in addition to compensation for the conservation easement. Landowners may also submit proposals to the CWHPP for projects whose sole purpose is to provide hunting or fishing access through a public access easement.
Under Colorado law, terms of the transaction become a matter of public record after the project is completed and closed. Additionally, it is important for CPW and our major funding partner, GOCO, to provide accurate information to the public regarding the CWHPP efforts to protect vital habitats and provide hunting and fishing access. Applicants should be aware that after a transaction is closed, information about the transaction, including funding amounts, may be used by CPW for internal planning and public information purposes.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult their legal and financial advisors when contemplating any real estate transaction associated with the CWHPP.
For further information about the CWHPP or application process, please contact:|
Matt Lucia, Land Protection Specialist
Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Real Estate Section
Denver, CO 80216