Colorado Playa Decision Support Tools

PDSS_user_manual_coverThis page features Playa Decision Support Tools (DSTs) for Colorado that are part of a bigger Playa Decision Support System for the entire PLJV region. These tools are intended for use by multiple stakeholder groups—including natural resource professionals, land managers and developers—providing them with spatially explicit data, maps, and written guidance that can inform decisions that may impact playas and their associated wildlife.

User Manual and Spatial Data

The GIS data offer two spatial scales at which to analyze potential impacts of activities on playas and associated wildlife—landscape scale (clusters and large isolated playas) and site scale (playas). Click on a link below to download a zip file for the appropriate data layer.

Note to Spatial Data Users: When working with these data & the probable playas version 4 (PPv4) dataset you may notice a misalignment between the two datasets; this is intentional and these data (the Colorado PDSS data) are the latest and most accurate. During the development of this PDSS we identified a datum shift that occurred when the PPv4 was originally processed. Because of this the playas in Colorado in the PPv4 dataset are shifted slightly (~44m east of their true position). We will be issuing a Probable Playas version 4.1 dataset to correct for this in the very near future. We apologize for any inconvenience.

County Maps

Below are PDF maps showing playas by land-use activity statewide and for each county. Playa clusters and large isolated playas are also included on every map. Click on a link to open a map in your browser or right click and choose “Save as…” to download a map.


PDSS_CO_restoration_mapDownload statewide maps or individual county maps (1-2 MB):

Development Avoidance

PDSS_CO_wind_mapDownload statewide maps or individual county maps (1-2 MB):

Colorado Working Group

The integrity and usefulness of the Playa DSS is greatly strengthened by the wide-ranging knowledge and perspectives provided by the working groups. Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV) would like to recognize all the agencies and organizations that contributed to this process.

  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife
  • ERO Resources
  • Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program
  • US Geological Survey
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service