Wildlife Management

The unique location of Jefferson County at the intersection of the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountain foothills results in a mosaic of ecological communities that are in turn home to an amazing diversity of native wildlife. Jeffco Open Space parks serve as important habitat for hundreds of common and special-status species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects. Please help us to keep our wildlife wild—do not approach or feed animals, and enjoy them from a respectful distance. By staying on designated trails in sensitive areas, respecting seasonal closures, and following posted dog regulations, you can help us to preserve and protect our native wildlife and the habitats on which they depend. To find more information on living with bears, coyotes, mountain lions and other wildlife in Jeffco, check out Living With Wildlife on the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website.

The Natural Resources team conducts a variety of activities to protect native wildlife and minimize human–wildlife conflicts that result from an increasing population along the wildlife–urban interface (WUI) that characterizes Jefferson County. 

Management Activities Include:

  • Baseline inventories of wildlife species and habitats on newly-acquired properties prior to Park development
  • Monitoring to better understand use of open space lands by wildlife, as well as wildlife response to Park management actions
  • Planning to ensure that wildlife species and habitats are conserved within the larger framework of Park management
  • Collaboration with Front Range stakeholders, agencies, and researchers to coordinate and enhance wildlife conservation efforts
  • Outreach to the public regarding our diversity of native wildlife, and how Park visitors can safely share our open spaces with the animals that depend on them for habitat

Current Management Projects:

Clear Creek Elk Herd GPS Monitoring Project - To better understand elk distribution and population characteristics, Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) is collaborating with Jefferson County Open Space (JCOS), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Boulder County Parks & Open Space, and the U.S. Forest Service to conduct a five-year study of the Clear Creek Elk Herd.

Combination GPS/radio collars with uniquely identifiable placards will be deployed on cow (female) elk to monitor movements and guide ground surveys to assess herd composition. To deploy the collars, elk will be captured using darting, live trapping, and helicopter net-gunning.

The results of this first-of-its-kind study in the area will help to better understand and manage elk movement, resource damage, human-wildlife interactions, and risk for disease prevalence and transmission.

Clear Creek Elk Herd GPS Monitoring Project fact sheet

Partnering Programs and Agencies

Big Horn Sheep
Clear Creek Elk Herd GPS Monitoring Project fact sheet cover