The Keep Colorado Wild Pass bill was signed into law by Governor Polis on June 21.
The bill was introduced on Friday, April 23, 2021. Senate sponsors are Senator Stephen Fenberg and Senator Kerry Donovan. House sponsors are Rep. Perry Will and Rep. Kerry Tipper. On May 6, the bill passed the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on a 3-2 vote. CWF testified as to the goals in the bill that address wildlife conservation. On May 12 the bill passed the Senate Finance Committee and on May 14 passed Senate Appropriations Committee and on May 19 passed the Senate on a 29-6 vote. The bill passed the House on June 4 and headed to the Governor’s desk.
To read the bill (now law) text click on the link at the bottom of this piece. Revenue to achieve the goals listed below will be produced from an optional, discounted Keep Colorado Wild Pass that will be added when Coloradans register their passenger vehicles, light trucks, motorcycles and recreational vehicle [unless the person opts out] beginning in 2023.
The Pass revenue will be directed toward the following 10 goals [quoted from Colorado Parks and Wildlife factsheet]. Several will help support conservation,
The first $32.5 million in revenue will be allocated to fund the 42 existing state parks by replacing supplementing current daily and annual parks pass revenue that supports staffing and operations — to achieve Goals 1 and 2 below.
Goal 1 – “Provide a simple and affordable state parks and public lands access pass to ensure that Colorado’s outdoors are welcoming and accessible to all and that all users contribute to keeping Colorado wild.”
Goal 2 – “Ensure sufficient staffing and resources to manage and conserve Colorado’s 42 existing State Parks.”
If revenue exceeds the amount above, the next $2.5 million will fund search and rescue and $1 million will fund avalanche safety and awareness to achieve Goals 3 and 4:
Goal 3 – ” Support Search ad Rescue volunteers responding to backcountry emergencies.”
Goal 4 – ” Protect winter recreationists by supporting backcountry avalanche safety programs.”
Revenue that exceeds the $36 million above will be allocated equally between the Parks Cash Fund and the Wildlife Cash Fund to achieve the following goals:
Goal 5 – “Build new state parks in partnership with local governments, conservationists, and recreationists.”
Goal 6 – “Grow CPW capacity to address outdoor recreation beyond state parks, including on federal lands.”
Goal 7 – “Increase State Trails Program funds for new trails, trail stewardship, and river recreation projects.”
Goal 8 – “Dedicate resource for the State Wildlife Action Plan to conserve vulnerable species and habitats.”
Goal 9 – “Support CPW initiatives focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion in the outdoors.”
Goal 10 – “Fund Colorado Regional Outdoor Partnerships to support community-driven planning and projects.”