Bill That Would Have Increased Park Fees Fails

The bill that would have established a stable and sustainable funding source for Colorado Parks and Wildlife was defeated last week in the Senate Finance Committee. The bill would have allowed CPW to increase park fees by as much as 50% and would have established additional fees for boaters in the state. As an agency, CPW gets very little money from the states general fund, with the majority of their funding coming from revenues generated from hunting, fishing and other park activities.  However, CPW has not been able to adjust the fees to account for the rising costs associated with park and wildlife management. As park visitation continues to rise, park and license fees that were set by the State Legislature in 2005, increasingly fall short of covering the growing costs. The limited revenue has resulted in CPW cutting more than $40 million from its budget and has lead to them postponing maintenance work on over 100 dams in Colorado. CPW estimates they will need millions more in additional revenue by 2023, simply to maintain current wildlife and park management levels.  With the death of the bill, the funding shortfall will remain a high priority for the agency and the Parks and Wildlife Commission.

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