Support HB17-1321: Colorado Parks and Wildlife Financial Sustainability Bill

Colorado NWTF Members,

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Financial Sustainability Bill (HB17-1321) will be presented in the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee on Monday, April 17. We as sportsmen and women play a pivotal role in managing the wildlife of our state through hunting and through partnership and involvement with our state wildlife agency. This bill will address the financial sustainability of what and how CPW delivers services to the wildlife and the public of our state.

This bill does not include any immediate fee increases, but rather provides CPW with the authority to increase fees over time. Essentially, this would transfer the authority to set fees from the Legislature to the CPW Commission versus having to go through the legislative process each time. The CPW Commission open forum process will include several public meetings where organizations such as the NWTF and individuals can provide input into the fee increase plan. There will be several accountability measures in the bill which means CPW will have certain reporting requirements to the legislature and will not have an unlimited ability to increase fees.

In order to help protect the future of our hunting heritage in Colorado, NWTF is asking for its Colorado members to call their Representatives and voice their support for CPW's Financial Sustainability Bill, HB17-1321. Anyone can find their legislator here. Calls and e-mails to House Ag members and House Finance Members are especially important. And also, please call and e-mail our bipartisan group of six House sponsors and thank them for their support: Arndt, Wilson, McLachlan, Catlin and Rankin. A fact sheet and additional details for the bill can be found here: http://cpw.state.co.us/Sustainability-Bill. Below are some talking points for your e-mails and phone calls:

  • Don’t want to see further cuts - Resident hunting and fishing license prices haven’t increased since 2005, and park entrance fees haven’t increased since 2010. As a result, CPW has made significant cuts in staff and programs. Without a fee increase, there will be further cuts and CPW’s customers don’t want to see that happen.

  • Support commission authority – The Parks and Wildlife Commission is appointed by the governor to represent their publics and provide policy oversight to CPW. The commission is the ideal entity to monitor CPW’s needs and provide management guidance that will keep outdoor recreation affordable for Coloradans.

  • Willing to pay more - CPW is funded by users through hunting and fishing licenses, park passes, boat and OHV registrations, and camping fees. This model is the basic premise of the American System of Conservation Funding. During the summer of 2016, CPW reached out to more than 3,000 sportsmen and park users. More than 85 percent of sportsmen who attended CPW’s financial sustainability meetings voiced support for increasing hunting and fishing license fees to fund wildlife operations.

Article State
Colorado