Colorado Parks and Wildlife look to increase license and park entrance fees.

In Denver, a bill is making its way through the Colorado legislature that would increase state license and park entrance fees. Colorado Parks and Wildlife depends primarily on the revenue from user fees, not tax dollars, and those prices haven't kept up with inflation. There hasn't been a license fee increase since 2005 and since 2009 CP&W have cut or defunded 50 positions plus has reduced its budget by nearly $40 million dollars.

The bill increases resident hunting and fishing licenses by $8 dollars. The bill also includes increases to certain non-resident licenses and park entrance fees. CP&W plans to use the additional dollars for several projects including new shooting ranges, fish hatchery renovations, repairing buildings and bathrooms plus the possible addition of a new state park.

Something has to be done. CP&W expects 2018 budget shortfalls of $30 million for wildlife and $11 million for parks due to high demand. According to Travis Duncan, CP&W's public information officer, "As more people move here, we're under more pressure from lack of funds to serve those people moving in. To make sure that people moving here have access to the parks have access to the wildlife and habitats that we've come to think of as just being a part of living in this state."

The bill, titled "The Hunting, Fishing & Parks for Future Generations Act," is excepted to become law soon. It's been a massive effort, created after months of public meetings, hearings, and public input. As a fisherman and lover of the outdoors. The $8 increase seems reasonable to me to enjoy the quality and beauty of the Colorado outdoors. It's a special place indeed.

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