Heard of elk on the prairie

Northwest Colorado Elk Herd and Bear Management Plans open to public comment

 Courtesy USFWS/Ryan Moehring.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is seeking input on two draft management plans for elk and bears in northwest Colorado. The draft plans can be viewed on the Herd Management Plan page of the agency’s website, and are open to public review and comment through June 30. 

CPW is evaluating management objectives for 15 elk herds in the Region. Recommended updates, including new management objectives, are being proposed for the E-1 Cold Springs elk herd, E-2 Bear’s Ears elk herd, E-3 North Park elk herd, E-6 White River elk herd, E-8 Troublesome elk herd, E-12 Piney River elk herd, E-13 Williams Fork elk herd, E-14 Grand Mesa elk herd, E-15 Avalanche Creek elk herd, E-16 Frying Pan elk herd, E-19 Glade Park elk herd, E-21 Rangely/Blue Mountain elk herd, and E-47 Green River elk herd.

PROMO Animal - Black Bear - Wikimedia - Public Domain

Black bear. Courtesy National Park Service

CPW is proposing extensions for the recently approved management objectives for the E-7 Gore Pass and E-10 Yellow Creek herds.

In addition to the elk HMPs, the Northwest Region is also looking for public comments on the proposed B-16 bear management plan. This Bear Data Analysis Unit (DAU), encompasses all of Grand and Summit Counties, and a portion of southern Routt County. 

CPW has been managing B-16 for a stable bear population over the past decade. The draft plan proposes to continue managing this unit for a stable bear population while minimizing human-bear conflicts.

Black Bear Management plans are used to establish a strategic goal for population management balancing a variety of interests and considerations, including desired population size, hunting opportunity, issues with human/bear conflict, agricultural conflict, and the general public’s interests and concerns. Each plan identifies significant issues and human conflicts, as well as management strategies and techniques to meet the objectives. 

The draft elk and bear plans are open to public comment through June 30. Those interested in submitting public comments can provide them by completing the Northwest Region Elk Herd Management Plan (HMP) Public Comment Form or the B-16 Bear Management Plan Public Comment Form.

Comments will also be accepted by mail addressed to:
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Attn: Brad Banulis
711 Independent Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81505

  • Questions about the draft Elk HMP or public process can be directed to Brad Banulis at, with “Northwest Region elk herd management plan” in the subject line. 
  • Questions about the draft Bear Management Plan or process can be directed to Elissa Slezak at, with “B-16 bear management plan” in the subject line.

In July, Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff will present a Regional Elk HMP and B-16 Bear Management document for approval at the Parks and Wildlife Commission Meeting in Meeker.