Our Mission: In support of the military training mission, conserve and enhance the Air Force Academy’s natural resources through the application of sound science and proactive stewardship practices.
The Natural Resources program manages the forests, rangelands, wetlands, wildlife, recreational fishing lakes, and multi-use trails on the US Air Force Academy, Farish Recreation Area, and Bullseye Auxiliary Airfield. Through a Cooperative Agreement with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, a team of USFWS biologists and foresters is responsible for managing the installation’s 19,110 acres, of which more than 70% is natural open space. The staff works cooperatively with many partners, including local governments and organizations, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, US Forest Service, Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State Forest Service, and other DoD offices. The natural resource management program has received the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Military Conservation Partner Award and the Department of Defense General Thomas D. White Award.
Oversight and management of the Air Force Academy's natural environment is directed by an Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) and several other resource-specific plans.
Events and Services
- USAFA fishing permits available online through iSportsman
- Free DAV and Purple Heart fishing lifetime permits available at Natural Resources
- Airfield gate access badging for handicap fisherman available at Natural Resources
- Firewood sales by appointment - Monday-Friday
- New Santa Fe Trail and Falcon Trail is open for public use
- USAFA deer hunt - October 1 - December 31 (see Hunting page for changes coming in 2018)
- USAFA cow elk hunt - October 1 - January 31
- 2018 cow elk hunting applications accepted through iSportsman from January 1 - May 31
Why Do We Use iSportsman for Permits?
Since introducing the iSportsman website in April 2016, Natural Resources has received mostly positive feedback for the improved access to information and convenience of purchasing the base's hunting and fishing permits online. We recognize the change from over-the-counter permitting might be frustrating for some, but we are available to help you learn the new system and its benefits. So why did we change our permitting process? First, the iSportsman website has vastly improved the quality, accuracy, and availability of information we can distribute for our various programs. Secondly, the fishing program is required to be self-supporting – no taxpayer funds are expended – so the permit fees must cover the annual cost of stocking the hatchery-reared fish. In the past, the Forces Support Squadron (FSS) retained up to $2.25 on each permit sold. By using iSportsman, 100% of your fees now go toward supporting fishing and other natural resources activities on the Air Force Academy and Farish Recreation Area. Reducing our administrative costs helps keep the permit fees as low as possible, and allows us to stock more fish for your enjoyment.
Please call Natural Resources at (719) 333-3308 for assistance or information.
Photo credits: Russ DeFusco, Greg Speights, Brian Mihlbachler, Steve Wallace, Diane Strohm, Colorado Natural Heritage Program (Michael Menefee)