With the passage of the bipartisan SB 21 by the Colorado General Assembly, Colorado could have a dedicated day each year to not only recognize its great public lands, but to celebrate them. SB 21 would designate the third Saturday in May each year to recognize the importance of public lands in the state. The bill has been sent to Governor Hickenlooper, who is expected to sign it into law.
“It is wonderful that Colorado is acknowledging in bipartisan fashion how valuable and important America’s public lands are to its residents by being the first state to designate a Public Lands Day,” said Tyler Baskfield, Colorado Sportsmen Coordinator for Trout Unlimited. “The outpouring of support for this legislation demonstrates how much Colorado sportsmen and sportswomen, outdoor enthusiasts and businesses value America’s public lands. Those pushing a public lands transfer agenda are really just fringe groups whose interests serve very few.”
Trout Unlimited worked with other organizations that rely on public lands such as, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and the National Wildlife Federation. All of these partners support and appreciate Public Lands Day and the lawmakers that approved the bill. It was a bipartisan and multi-organization effort to get the bill passed.
Colorado has millions of acres of public lands that allow hunters and anglers to have access to some of the best fish and big game habitat in the world. With the new bill, hunters, anglers, and conservationists can celebrate the access to the great public lands the state has to offer.
“Just as our landscapes make Colorado a special place, the bipartisan bill creating an annual Public Lands Day demonstrates positive leadership at a time when politics is often too full of division,” said Suzanne O’Neill, Colorado Wildlife Federation executive director. “Public lands, from the mountains to the sagebrush steppe and rolling plains, support our fish and wildlife, hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, and other outdoor recreation that generates more than $34 billion in economic activity each year.”
“Bipartisan support for Public Lands Day is a great indication of the passion Coloradans have for outdoor recreation on public lands—national treasures owned by all of us—as part of a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle,” said Nick Payne, Colorado field representative for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “I’m sure thousands of hunters and anglers will join me in tipping a hat to our state lawmakers, with the hope that this will spark constructive conversations about responsible management of our public lands, which ensures continued access to world-class hunting and fishing experiences.”