State Parks, Wildlife Agencies To Merge July 1

DENVER (AP) — The Hickenlooper administration plans to introduce legislation soon that would combine the state wildlife and parks agencies to save money.

Gov. John Hickenlooper told the parks board and the Colorado Wildlife Commission Thursday that the two boards would also be merged in a move first announced earlier this week and aimed at streamlining operations in the face of budget shortfalls. The two agencies in the Department of Natural Resources would become one July 1.

State officials say teams of employees from the wildlife and parks divisions will be asked to help shape the new organization. They say several other Western states have combined their parks and wildlife agencies.

Hickenlooper has said the state could save $3 million to $4 million a year by combining the boards and the 900 jobs.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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