If you are one of the many outdoorsmen that love Colorado, get ready to pay a little more if you want to fish or hunt.
Everything these days seems to be costing more money. One thing that will hopefully always be free is being able to spend time in the Great Outdoors. However, if you are one of the many Colorado hunters or fishermen, it looks like it’s going to cost you. Outdoorsmen from the Centennial State, may see a 50% increase on their licenses, and soon.
Before you get upset, Colorado is going bankrupt when it comes to hunting and fishing resources. If something isn’t done to fix the state’s outdoors allocated monetary resources, multiple sportsman doomsday scenarios are on the horizon.
With this new proposed Colorado House Bill 1321 — sponsored by Reps. Jeni Arndt, D-Fort Collins, and James Wilson, R-Salid, money would be raised by increased license costs. Cutting thousands of public acres of land and state owned fish hatcheries is also on the table. This doesn’t even mention cuts that would come from conservation work to keep those areas up and maintained. It appears that if Colorado sportsman want to keep what they have, they are going to have to pay up.
“This really allows the commission to expand these discussions on the management of our natural resources into the public,” said Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Lauren Truitt in an interview. “This is something we feel is time to put in front of Coloradans and see how we can answer the funding needs as well as the growing population and the number of people coming to Colorado for our resources.”
$50 million has been cut from Colorado’s Colorado’s Parks and Wildlife Commission since 2009. Currently, the organization estimated that there will be no money left by 2023. To make matters worse, they actually estimate a $15 million deficit.
“The funding shortfall is having significant impacts on the agency and our ability to fulfill our mission to Colorado,” Truitt said in the same interview. “This is something we were able to do to address and do all the things Coloradans were asking us to do at the level they were expecting from us.”
In this bill, the Parks and Wildlife commision will also be able to keep control of future funds. At the same time, they will also get to control future price increases as well.