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Chapter News - August 20, 2014

Great Outdoors Colorado contributes $600,000 to state wetlands program

Great Outdoors Colorado contributes $600,000 to state wetlands program

Date: Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Great Outdoors Colorado contributes $600,000 to state wetlands program

By Jesse Paul
The Denver Post

Great Outdoors Colorado funds — totaling $600,000 — will help pay for 15 wetland and riparian restoration projects statewide selected by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, including two damaged in last year's floods.

This year's projects are meant to revitalize more than 4,700 acres of wetlands on Colorado's wildlife areas, refuges and other private and public lands across the state, parks and wildlife said in a news release.

"Wetlands and riparian areas are critically important wildlife habitats," Brian Sullivan, wetlands program coordinator for parks and wildlife, said in a statement. "Most wildlife specifics in Colorado use these areas, which represent only a small part of our landscape."

Great Outdoors Colorado uses funds from Colorado's lottery to support environmental and parks projects statewide.

The wetlands projects will receive matching funds — more than $1.2 million — from 20 total entities, including local, state and federal sources as well as non-profits and private landowners, the release said. Great Outdoors Colorado is among the largest in grant contributors, according to Manda Walters, a spokeswoman for parks and wildlife.

The project will include restoration at a formal gravel pit at Boulder County's Webster Pond and another at Loveland's Morey Wildlife Preserve aimed to promote wildlife along the Big Thompson River.

The parks and wildlife wetlands program was created in 1997 and has impacted some 220,000 acres across the state through roughly $40 million in funding. The project aims to support at-risk wildlife species in those habitats.

Great Outdoors Colorado has helped fund the wetlands project since its inception and also contributed $250,000 for 10 separate riparian restoration grants earlier this year, parks and wildlife said.

"The crucial mission for Great Outdoors Colorado is to preserve wildlife through projects like this one," said Todd Cohen, a spokesman for the group. "Throughout the years, million of dollars have gone to parks and wildlife to protect these species."