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Colorado: Lonetree Reservoir to Revert to Private Ownership After June, 2018

LOVELAND, Colo. Colorado Parks & Wildlife was able to retain the recreation lease for Lonetree Reservoir through June 30, 2018, however this date will mark the end of the agency's management of the Loveland fishing area. There will not be public access to the property after that date.

"We are certainly disappointed," said Mark Leslie, northeast regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, "We negotiated as best we could for a 20-year lease, but were outbid in the end. Sadly the agency may face additional situations like this in the future as we struggle to support our hunting and fishing access with a constrained budget."

Lonetree Reservoir and the surrounding land have been leased for wildlife recreation by Colorado Parks and Wildlife since the 1970's.

Anglers will note that the current fishing regulations will remain in place until biologists determine the level at which sportfish can be salvaged and any remaining fish can be transferred to a public water open to angling.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife recently ran a Financial Sustainability bill through the legislature to address funding shortfalls the agency is facing. The bill was defeated in the Senate Finance Committee. The agency receives very little tax funding from the state, and operates primarily on a user pay model to manage state parks, recreation and wildlife. With greater demand placed on recreation opportunities and rising operational costs the bill addressed the need to increase the price on park passes and resident hunting and fishing licenses.

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.