Colorado Natural Heritage Program director David Anderson, along with staff members Amy Greenwell and Michael Menefee, were thrilled to participate in The Outdoors Summit in downtown Denver this summer. The Summit convened to help launch new initiatives to protect, preserve and enhance the state’s great outdoors and natural areas. Conservation leaders from around the state attended the event. Speakers included Governor John Hickenlooper and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar among many other notable participants.
|Governor John Hickenlooper presents his Colorado Beautiful plan at the Outdoors Summit in Denver, Colorado.|
During the Summit, Governor Hickenlooper rolled out his Colorado Beautiful plan, an exciting conservation initiative that ultimately aims to enable every Coloradan to live within a 10-minute walk of an open space natural area. Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) has awarded $15.6 million in grants to support the Colorado Beautiful plan. A hallmark of the plan will be the creation of an interactive trail and recreational lands map. The map will use CNHP’s existing map of Colorado’s protected areas, called The Colorado Ownership, Management, and Protection (COMaP). COMaP is a dataset maintained by CNHP and the CSU Geospatial Centroid.
The complete Colorado Beautiful map is scheduled for completion in 2016. The map will also help guide plans to preserve and strategically protect Colorado’s most threatened landscapes, waterways and urban open spaces. It will also be used to identify 16 high-priority trail projects to help connect people to more recreational opportunities. The map will include all the state’s trails, open spaces, parks and protected lands in a single site. “Colorado Beautiful, we believe, is not only about connecting our parks, trails and scenic lands, but about connecting people to the outdoor delights that set Colorado apart as a special place,” Hickenlooper said. “It’s important to bring our newest generations outside, away from electronic distractions and into the splendor of our waterways, forests, wildlife, grasslands, mountains and canyons.”
|An image of the Colorado Ownership, Management, and Protection map (COMaP) that will be integrated into the Colorado Beautiful map proposed by Governor Hickenlooper.|