Colorado Department of Natural Resources

In Colorado, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides for the development, preservation, and enhancement of the state’s natural resources for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future citizens and visitors.  The DNR was created pursuant to C.R.S. 24-1-124.  The head of DNR is the executive director of the department of natural resources, who shall be the commissioner of mines.  The executive director is appointed by the governor pursuant to law.  Generally, the DNR consists of the following divisions:

  • Colorado Division of Forestry- Provides for the supervision of forest resources and reduces the risk related to life, property, and environment for the benefit of present and future generations[i];
  • Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety (DRMS)- Provides for mineral and energy development; conceives and develops long range and strategic plans and policies; compiles and disseminates information on Colorado’s mineral opportunities; analyzes and identifies constraints which may affect development; resolve problems, and promote resource utilization; coordinates with federal agencies on proposed land uses, policies, legislation, and regulation; provides or supports Colorado government liaison with federal agencies and alerts the department to developments or opportunities; and consults with local governments, public interest groups, environmental groups, and constituency groups where necessary to promote a sound and balanced approach to minerals development[ii];
  • Colorado Division of Water Resources- Provides for the administration of Colorado’s water resources to meet the demands of present and future generations;
  • Colorado Division of Wildlife- Provides technical assistance to private and other public landowners concerning wildlife and habitat management; regulates hunting and fishing activities by issuing licenses and enforcing regulations; manages the state’s 960 wildlife species; conducts research to improve wildlife management activities; and develops programs to protect and recover threatened and endangered species;
  • Colorado Geological Survey (CGS)- Provides geologic insight into water resources, avalanche safety training and forecasting, and geologic advice and information to a variety of constituencies.  CGS also helps to reduce the impact of geologic hazards on the citizens of Colorado and promotes responsible economic development of mineral and energy resources;
  • Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC)- Provides for the responsible development of Colorado’s oil and gas natural resources;
  • Colorado State Land Board- Provides for the protection and enhancement of permanent endowment assets for the reasonable, consistent, and ongoing benefit of Colorado public schools and public facilities;
  • Colorado State Parks- Provides a clean, safe, and accessible statewide park system for all Coloradans; and
  • Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB)- Provides policy direction on water issues.


Colorado Department of Natural Resources

[i] C.R.S. 24-33-201.

[ii] C.R.S. 34-20-103.

Inside Colorado Department of Natural Resources