S.B. 18-43 (CO) \"Hunting, Fishing and Parks for Future Generations Act\"

February 13, 2018

 S.B. 18-143, the "Hunting, Fishing and Parks for Future Generations Act" bill was voted 5-0 on February 13 to move forward by  the Colorado Senate Finance Committe. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Stephen Fenberg and Don Coram.  The bill will now move to the Senate Appropriations Committee.  The House co-sponsors are Representatives Jeni Arndt and Jim Wilson.

The bill would increase the cost of most resident hunting and fishing licenses by $8 in 2019 followed by CPI adjustments. For example, a resident elk license that costs $45 in 2018 would cost $53 in 2019. An annual fishing license in 2018 would increase to $33 in 2019.

CPW intends to accomplish the following 10 goals by 2025, as specified in the bill\'s Legislative Declaration: 

-- Increase the number of hunters and anglers through investments in programs such as hunter education, Fishing is Fun, and Cameo Shooting and Education Complex.

--Expand access for hunters, anglers and outdoor recreationists by renewing existing high-priority leases and supporting additional public access programs on public and private lands.

--Identify and begin planning the development of Colorado\'s next state park.

--Reduce risks to life and property and sustain water-based recreation opportuities by reducing CPW\'s dam maintenance and repair backlog by 50 percent. [The maintenance and repair backlog is $44.76 million.  CPW seeks to reduce this backlog by 50% for the 11 dams owned and operated by CPW that pose the highest risk to life and property and to establish a funding stream to continue maintenance of all CPW\'s 110 dams.]

--Increase the number of fish stocked in Colorado waters to above 90 million through hatchery modernization and renovations [and to renovate one of the state\'s 19 fish hatcheries.  Many of these hatcheries are 70-100 years old.]

--Attract and retain high caliber employees to manage wildlife, park recreation and aquatic resources.

--Improve species distribution and abundance monitoring and disease prevention efforts through partnerships with private landowners -- and reduce the need to list additional state trust species under the federal Endangered Species Act.

--Increase and improve big-game populations through investments in habitat and conservation, including building more highway wildlife crossings to protect wildlife and motorists.

--Engage all outdoor recreationists, such as hikers, bikers, and wildllfe watchers, in the maintenance of state lands and facilities and the management of wildlife.

--Provide quality infrastructure at CPW properties by completing much needed construction and maintenance. [CPW seeks to reduce its known $26 million large capital construction and maintenance backlog by 50%.] 

Link to the text of the bill:

leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2018A/bills/2018a_143_01.pdf

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