The Keep Colorado Wild Pass today was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis. The bill will reduce fees for Colorado state parks and other public lands through a pass available when Coloradans register passenger vehicles, light trucks, motorcycles and recreational vehicles, beginning in 2023.

During the pandemic, Coloradans visited state parks and other public land in record numbers. It is clear that our outdoor spaces and recreation economy will be a critical part of our recovery, especially as we welcome tourists back to our state.

The Keep Colorado Wild pass will:

  • Provide access to Colorado’s 42 state parks and other participating public lands;
  • Increase the scale and pace of lands and wildlife conservation across Colorado and support key outdoor recreation programs;
  • Support locally-driven conservation efforts around the state, including the creation of new state parks;
  • Cost no more than $40 (half of a current parks pass), with a goal to achieve a $20 price via high participation reducing financial barriers for people to enjoy the outdoors;
  • Ensure that registrants are clearly and transparently given the option to choose not to purchase the pass;
  • Be available at a lower price to under-resourced and disproportionately impacted Colorado households; and,
  • Provide every Coloradan the opportunity to conserve and support what makes our state so unique.

Read more: Keep Colorado Wild Pass fact sheet

The bill was sponsored by Senators Steve Fenberg and Kerry Donovan and Representatives Kerry Tipper and Perry Will.

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Suzanne O’Neill, Colorado Wildlife Federation
“Coloradans who enjoy watching wildlife now will have a good personal opportunity to support wildlife conservation, as hunters and anglers have done for generations. Many state parks conserve important habitat, such as Fishers Peak, our newest state park. In addition, species of greatest conservation need will benefit and regional partnerships that will help balance wildlife conservation with the exploding demand for outdoor recreation.”

Julie Mach, Colorado Mountain Club
“The Colorado Mountain Club is pleased to see this new funding mechanism enacted to support recreation and conservation on Colorado’s public lands and protect the Colorado way of life. Our state parks provide for an array of outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing and camping but require additional funding for maintenance and management to minimize human impacts on water, wildlife and ecosystem health. Additionally, the allocations to support Colorado Search and Rescue as well as the Colorado Avalanche Information Center are a high priority to support and educate recreational users across the state.”

Andre Miller, Western Resources Advocates
“The Colorado Wild Pass will provide crucial funding for park maintenance, increase conservation efforts, and expand opportunities for Coloradans to get outside and experience our system of state parks. The funding provided by this pass will benefit wildlife and communities across the West by enabling more habitat conservation and lowering the cost to access Colorado State Parks and public lands while improving state facilities to better accommodate rapidly growing park visitation levels. These funds will also help Colorado Parks and Wildlife protect additional areas to help move the state towards important regional conservation goals, including protecting 30×30.”

Beau Kiklis, Conservation Colorado
“The Keep Colorado Wild Pass is a generational victory that will reduce financial barriers for all Coloradans to enjoy our great outdoors while enhancing and expanding land and wildlife conservation to align with the science-based vision of conserving 30 percent of U.S. lands and water by 2030. We applaud Governor Polis and the bill sponsors for their visionary leadership in ensuring we Keep Colorado Wild.”

Gabriel Otero, The Wilderness Society
“Love for our great outdoors is universal among Coloradans across all kinds of demographics, but the benefits and access to our outdoors haven’t been enjoyed equitably by all Coloradans. As Colorado’s population continues to grow to an estimated 8 million in 2050, it’s more imperative than ever that we invest in our state parks, being intentional to make the outdoors as welcoming as possible so younger generations can connect with nature and find a love for wild places. The establishment of a Keep Colorado Wild Pass will pay dividends for future generations by making our state parks more affordable and accessible. We applaud the bill sponsors and Gov. Polis for signing this bill into law, and look forward to working with CPW on successful implementation.”

Tanya Henderson, Western Slope Conservation Center
“The Keep Colorado Wild Pass is a win for our state parks and for western Colorado. This investment in our state parks is an investment in our local economies and communities. Not only will this bill create additional funding for CO state parks and enable them to make necessary and needed improvements, it will provide a more equitable way for Coloradoans to access them. Thank you Gov. Polis and the Keep CO Wild Pass team for keeping Colorado wild!”

Carlos Fernandez, The Nature Conservancy in Colorado
“Over the past year, the ability to get outside and enjoy our parks and open spaces has been increasingly more important. The Colorado Wild Pass will provide much needed resources to make sure our parks are cared for and our wildlife can thrive. It may also bring funding for new projects, like Fishers Peak, that help balance outdoor recreation and conservation so that future generations can enjoy our diverse outdoor places.”

Daly Edmunds, Audubon Rockies
“Colorado’s state parks enable residents and visitors to experience some of the best natural wonders in the world, and in doing so, are an important part of our economy. This bill reflects our state’s proactive approach, to support locally-driven conservation efforts and ensure nature remains an important part of our identity long into the future.”

Contact

Jamie Trafficanda, 720-763-3737, jamie@westernresources.org