Colorado Natural Areas

Twenty-three parcels of state trust land that total more than 30,000 acres are designated into the Colorado Natural Areas program (CNAP).

CNAP is a statewide program managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The CNAP team focuses on the recognition and protection of areas that contain at least one unique or high-quality natural feature of statewide significance. 

CNAP works cooperatively with landowners to identify, monitor, and protect a system of natural areas representing a diverse spectrum of Colorado's natural heritage.

Learn more about CNAP.

CNAP volunteers field inspection hiking outdoors

Q&A

The two primary benefits of designating state trust lands as Colorado Natural Areas are 1) annual monitoring visits by trained volunteer stewards (citizen scientists) and 2) long-term monitoring through documentation of baseline conditions and changes over time.

Colorado Natural Areas Program is part Colorado Parks and Wildlife and was established by statute in 1977. CNAP is comprised of a committed staff, an active Advisory Council, and numerous partners and volunteers.

If you have experience with botany, wildlife biology, geology, paleontology, enjoy orienteering or back country travel, or love the outdoors and would like to develop your skills as a naturalist, read more becoming a CNAP Volunteer Steward.