Let's all pat ourselves on the back for a job well done! In Colorado, we have seen an upswell of advocates that care about our natural resources and the investment in our lands. Legislation to invest in fish, wildlife, and public lands - through Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) fees, a new aquatic nuisance species (ANS) program, and lottery reauthorization - all passed with strong bipartisan support in both the Senate and House. In contrast, last year the ANS and CPW proposals died in their first Senate committee. This truly shows that the number of letters, calls, press coverage, and in person-meetings made a big difference with our elected officials. Amongst the CTU and TU staff, volunteers, and chapters, we are coining these victories as this year's "Advocacy Trifecta". It's nice to see the hard work of many, pay off in such a rewarding way for Colorado's great outdoors. Together, we have helped transform these 3 bills into Colorado State law:
- Hunting and Fishing for Future Generation Act SB18-143: This legislation invests into the publics' lands in Colorado. With a modest fee increase to Colorado anglers, hunters and park visitors, it helps to make sure that Colorado Parks and Wildlife will have the resources they need to keep Colorado's fishing, hunting, and parks great!
- Reauthorization of the Lottery: The Colorado state lottery has been a huge source of financial support for public lands and recreation – without depending on tax dollars. By investing in our great outdoors, the lottery helps drive our state’s multi-billion outdoor recreation economy – benefiting not only our quality of life but also supporting jobs and economic development statewide. The lottery has now been reauthorized for 25 more years.
- Mussel-free Colorado Act: This will create an aquatic nuisance species stamp for the operation of motorboats and sailboats in waters of the state, increasing penalties related to the introduction of aquatic nuisance species into the waters of the state, and combining two separate funds related to the aquatic nuisance species program into one fund.
Combined, these three measures help ensure that Colorado can continue to invest in our fish, wildlife, and public lands - so we can "keep it Colorado!"