Colorado’s Natural Resources

No place like home

Lands in Our Hands

Seas of green and gold

Colorado is an ideal setting to study forest and rangeland ecology and management. Colorado State University’s campus is surrounded by shortgrass plains to its east, and the rugged Rocky Mountains hold high elevation forests, grassland meadows and riparian areas to its west. 

You’ll find six national forests, a national grassland, Rocky Mountain National Park, and several wilderness areas within a 100-mile radius. These sites offer unique opportunities for research and practice in a wide variety of forest and rangeland ecosystems.

Our backyard. Colorado.

Our community. Earth.

34% Forests

60% Rangelands

30% Forests

~45% Rangelands

Colorado's forests

  • Spruce-fir
  • Aspen
  • Limber pine
  • Lodgepole pine
  • Ponderosa pine
  • Piñon-juniper
  • Colorado blue spruce
  • Southwestern white pine
  • Douglas-fir
  • Bristlecone pine
  • Cottonwood/willow

Colorado's rangelands

  • Grasslands
  • Riparian areas
  • Alpine tundra
  • Shrublands
  • Desert

Colorado at a Glance

Shades of Green and Gold

Colorado has some of the most diverse forest and rangeland landscapes of any state in the U.S. Our green and gold mosaic contours flat eastern plains, elevated western plateaus, towering Rocky Mountains, high southern deserts and sloping Front Range foothills.

Colorado Public Lands

in a few numbers



of major river basins

million acres

managed by the
U.S. Forest Service

million acres

managed by the
Bureau of Land

National Forests


National Parks


National Grasslands


National Wilderness Areas