State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP)

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The public feedback period on the draft criteria for selecting the Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) closed July 9. Additional opportunities for input will be available on this page in the future.


The draft 2025 State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) is due to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service by September 30, 2025. CPW is working closely with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) on the development of the SWAP.

What is the State Wildlife Action Plan?

State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAP) are plans which guide the conservation of a state’s most vulnerable species and the habitats they depend on. An updated SWAP is required every 10 years for federal funding eligibility via the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants (SWG) program. These plans have eight required elements that have remained the same since the program’s inception 25 years ago. Colorado's draft 2025 SWAP is due to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in September 2025.

table that describes each of the 8 elements of the SWAP. Element 1 is: Identify distribution, abundance and status of species of greatest conservation need. Element 2 is: Identify location and condition of key habitat types essential to the conservation of SGCN. Element 3 is: Identify problems and threats that affect SGCN and their habitats. Element 4 is: Determine and prioritize actions to conserve SGCN and their habitats. Element 5 is: Provide periodic monitoring and adaptive mangement of SGCN and their habitats. Element 6 is: provide for review and revision of the SWAP. Element 7 is: coordinate development and revision with appropriate federal, state, local agencies and tribes. Element 8 is: provide for necessary public involvement in the development, revision, and implementation of the SWAP.


Colorado’s 2025 SWAP Guiding Philosophy and Purpose

Colorado’s SWAP history mirrors what has happened across the country. Our first plan was produced in 2005 with the first revision published in 2015. CPW wants to improve the SWAP with each revision making it more applicable and impactful. For 2025, the planning process began with considering how the 2015 SWAP has been used and what changes are desired for the 2025 SWAP.

Planning Process Guiding Philosophy

CPW started with contemplating 4 A’s - awareness, alignment, access and action - and created a guiding philosophy to steer us through the process.

  • Use the planning process to raise awareness of the SWAP internally and externally
  • Consider how to bridge the implementation gap between planning and action, including development of dynamic resources
  • Improve equity in the process. Ask those closest to decisions for solutions and involve those that may not have been before (e.g., subject matter experts; socially, culturally, economically diverse communities)
  • Be solutions oriented - research shows that talking about what is working or promising leads to more constructive tones, seeing better options and building agency all of which leads to meaningful change. In practice that looks like being evidence-based, talking about limitations and what we don't know, seeing problems as decisions that are integrated as systems and asking, “what if?”
  • Complement and leverage other conservation planning initiatives

2025 SWAP Purpose

The 2015 SWAP has been considered a critical resource for understanding which species in the state are most vulnerable and the potential threats and actions associated with their conservation. The 2025 SWAP will continue to be the authority for Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in Colorado. The SWAP will be a work plan for SGCN and addresses that specific suite of species, however, this will not limit CPW or our partners from continuing existing programs or developing new efforts to address other species.

What are desired changes for this revision of the SWAP and its implementation?

The 2025 SWAP will be elevated in CPW programs and resource allocation decisions as well as promote collective action for SGCN through increased use as a 'Call to Action'' with our partners. To support these efforts, we will increase relevance by building robust Elements through more meaningful inclusion of additional taxa (i.e., rare plants and invertebrates), climate change and adaptability to emerging threats. We have also added a new category of SGCN, a subset of species known as Species of Greatest Information Need (SGIN) which are species believed to be of conservation concern, but we are lacking enough information to confirm their status. It will be a more proactive planning document that drives CPW’s work, leverages other plans, work groups and data and is structured so that our successes and challenges can be assessed over time.

What is happening now with the SWAP?

The draft 2025 SWAP is due to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service by September 30, 2025. CPW is working closely with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) to develop the SWAP. We will update this page throughout the process with additional opportunities for input.

CPW and CNHP have developed Draft SGCN Selection Criteria and are now looking for public feedback on this part of Element 1 of the SWAP regarding the identification of the species of greatest conservation need.

The public feedback period on the draft criteria for selecting the Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) closed July 9. Additional opportunities for input will be available on this page in the future.


The draft 2025 State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) is due to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service by September 30, 2025. CPW is working closely with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) on the development of the SWAP.

What is the State Wildlife Action Plan?

State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAP) are plans which guide the conservation of a state’s most vulnerable species and the habitats they depend on. An updated SWAP is required every 10 years for federal funding eligibility via the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants (SWG) program. These plans have eight required elements that have remained the same since the program’s inception 25 years ago. Colorado's draft 2025 SWAP is due to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in September 2025.

table that describes each of the 8 elements of the SWAP. Element 1 is: Identify distribution, abundance and status of species of greatest conservation need. Element 2 is: Identify location and condition of key habitat types essential to the conservation of SGCN. Element 3 is: Identify problems and threats that affect SGCN and their habitats. Element 4 is: Determine and prioritize actions to conserve SGCN and their habitats. Element 5 is: Provide periodic monitoring and adaptive mangement of SGCN and their habitats. Element 6 is: provide for review and revision of the SWAP. Element 7 is: coordinate development and revision with appropriate federal, state, local agencies and tribes. Element 8 is: provide for necessary public involvement in the development, revision, and implementation of the SWAP.


Colorado’s 2025 SWAP Guiding Philosophy and Purpose

Colorado’s SWAP history mirrors what has happened across the country. Our first plan was produced in 2005 with the first revision published in 2015. CPW wants to improve the SWAP with each revision making it more applicable and impactful. For 2025, the planning process began with considering how the 2015 SWAP has been used and what changes are desired for the 2025 SWAP.

Planning Process Guiding Philosophy

CPW started with contemplating 4 A’s - awareness, alignment, access and action - and created a guiding philosophy to steer us through the process.

  • Use the planning process to raise awareness of the SWAP internally and externally
  • Consider how to bridge the implementation gap between planning and action, including development of dynamic resources
  • Improve equity in the process. Ask those closest to decisions for solutions and involve those that may not have been before (e.g., subject matter experts; socially, culturally, economically diverse communities)
  • Be solutions oriented - research shows that talking about what is working or promising leads to more constructive tones, seeing better options and building agency all of which leads to meaningful change. In practice that looks like being evidence-based, talking about limitations and what we don't know, seeing problems as decisions that are integrated as systems and asking, “what if?”
  • Complement and leverage other conservation planning initiatives

2025 SWAP Purpose

The 2015 SWAP has been considered a critical resource for understanding which species in the state are most vulnerable and the potential threats and actions associated with their conservation. The 2025 SWAP will continue to be the authority for Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in Colorado. The SWAP will be a work plan for SGCN and addresses that specific suite of species, however, this will not limit CPW or our partners from continuing existing programs or developing new efforts to address other species.

What are desired changes for this revision of the SWAP and its implementation?

The 2025 SWAP will be elevated in CPW programs and resource allocation decisions as well as promote collective action for SGCN through increased use as a 'Call to Action'' with our partners. To support these efforts, we will increase relevance by building robust Elements through more meaningful inclusion of additional taxa (i.e., rare plants and invertebrates), climate change and adaptability to emerging threats. We have also added a new category of SGCN, a subset of species known as Species of Greatest Information Need (SGIN) which are species believed to be of conservation concern, but we are lacking enough information to confirm their status. It will be a more proactive planning document that drives CPW’s work, leverages other plans, work groups and data and is structured so that our successes and challenges can be assessed over time.

What is happening now with the SWAP?

The draft 2025 SWAP is due to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service by September 30, 2025. CPW is working closely with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) to develop the SWAP. We will update this page throughout the process with additional opportunities for input.

CPW and CNHP have developed Draft SGCN Selection Criteria and are now looking for public feedback on this part of Element 1 of the SWAP regarding the identification of the species of greatest conservation need.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Share your feedback on the draft SGCN Selection Criteria for the 2025 State Wildlife Action Plan. Public feedback will be accepted through July 9th.

    *NOTE* In order to complete the form below, you will need to first register for an Engage CPW account - you can register for an account here. Once you have created an account, you must then sign in to your account to complete the feedback form.

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Page last updated: 12 Jul 2024, 12:20 PM