“Future of Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Recreation
9/25/2017 6:00 am
DURANGO, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is facing long-term budget issues that will affect how the state’s parks and wildlife are managed in the future. To present the issues, CPW will hold a public meeting to discuss the “Future of Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Recreation in Colorado” for Southwest Region residents, 6 p.m., Sept. 25.
The meeting will be held by teleconference to allow residents of the far-flung Southwest Region to participate. At the meeting, CPW officials will explain the agency’s current challenges, present some ideas for fixing the budget problems, and provide an opportunity for the public to participate in developing solutions.
Residents can attend the meeting at any of the Southwest Region’s four wildlife service centers: Durango, region headquarters, 415 Turner Drive in the Bodo Park Gunnison, wildlife office, 300 W. New York Ave. San Luis Valley, Monte Vista wildlife office, 0722 Road 1 East Montrose, wildlife office, 2300 S. Townsend Ave. (U.S. Highway 550)
Besides discussing budget issues, CPW staff will give an update on regional hunting, fishing and parks activities in a roundtable format.
CPW is managed as an “enterprise agency”, which means it does not receive any general sales tax dollars from Colorado taxpayers. The majority of the agency’s revenue comes from parks users and from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. The agency also receives grants from Great Outdoors Colorado, and federal excise taxes levied on the sale of hunting and fishing equipment.
CPW has not raised resident hunting and fishing licenses since 2005.
A bill to address the budget issues was submitted to the 2017 Colorado General Assembly. The bill passed with bi-partisan support in the House of Representatives. However, the bill did not reach the Senate floor when it failed to pass out of committee by a vote of 3-2.
The agency will be looking at funding ideas in 2018, as well as ways that it can continue to provide sustainable wildlife populations, world-class outdoor recreation and stewardship programs. Those details will be explained at the Sept. 25 meeting.
“Colorado hunters, anglers, state parks users and recreation users care deeply about outdoor resources in the state, and CPW works to maintain and improve those resources from our prairies to our peaks,” said Patt Dorsey, manager for CPW’s Southwest Region. “We want to continue to provide customer service and recreational opportunities, and we need to think seriously about how we do that with an increasing population and a shrinking budget.”
Funds for the wildlife section of the agency and the park section of the agency are, by law, kept completely separate. There is no comingling of revenues or expenditures.
“Coloradans are lucky to live in a state with a diversity of recreation opportunities and wildlife resources and they’ve always been willing to pay for those privileges,” Dorsey said. “CPW is reaching out to Colorado residents to bridge the gap between the present and the future.”
Those unable to attend the meeting can view an on-line presentation which details CPW’s financial challenges and a preliminary proposal for increa More info...