After a pilot study, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be suspending its Big Game Access Program that was designed to evaluate the potential of a big game leasing program in southeastern Colorado and create hunting opportunities that both benefited landowners and hunters in the area.
However, recent budgetary shortfalls have caused Colorado Parks and Wildlife to reevaluate all of its programs and as a result the decision was made to end BGAP.
“While the interest in accessing private lands for big game hunting has continued to grow, the program simply wasn’t economically feasible under it’s current structure,” said Travis Black, Area Wildlife Manager and BGAP Coordinator.
The pilot program began in 2007 and established short-term contracts with landowners in specific game management units to open private land to public hunters for big game hunting. Participating landowners could benefit from the potential of additional income, while hunters benefited from increased hunting opportunities.
Landowners who met BGAP requirements received payment from Colorado Parks and Wildlife that ranged from $.25 per acre up to a maximum of $3 per acre.
“We appreciate all those who have participated in the program over the past seven years. Unfortunately at this time we will not be able to continue the program,” said Black. “BGAP has not been self-sustaining due to the limited scope of the program, and the number of acres enrolled.”
The program was initially intended to be a three year study but was extended after it received significant interest.
“We will continue to evaluate BGAP and other potential future access programs as we continue to improve our financial situation,” said Black.
Landowners who participated in the program will be contacted by their local District Wildlife Manager. Anyone with questions about the program should contact the Lamar CPW Office at 719-336-6600.