Senate OKs measure merging state wildlife, parks divisions

With little debate, the Colorado Senate approved a measure Tuesday to merge the state divisions of wildlife and parks into a one agency.

The merger is expected to take a couple of years to complete and is designed to help the state save money.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village, starts the merger process by first combining the 11-member Colorado Wildlife Commission with the 16-member Colorado State Parks Board. The new Parks and Wildlife Board, would determine how the two divisions would join forces.

The amount of money the merger would save remains undetermined, but officials in the Department of Natural Resources, which oversees both divisions, expect it to impact up to 25 administrative jobs immediately. State officials say they plan to eliminate those positions without having to lay off any state workers.

The measure heads to the House for more debate.



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