A bill that would allow Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to raise fees on hunting and fishing licenses was introduced in the state legislature last week. It would also increase state park entrance fees.
CPW has cut $40 million from its wildlife budget and defunded 50 positions since 2009 because of budget shortfalls. These cuts have meant deferred maintenance on dams, reductions to programs to prevent invasive species and fewer grants for local initiatives.
The agency is primarily funded by hunting and fishing license sales. The prices of those licenses for residents have not increased since 2005. The bill would increase most fees by $8 dollars and would allow CPW to raise entry fees to state parks by a dollar a year for day passes.
The bill has been dubbed the “Hunting, Fishing and Access for Future Generations Act.” CPW officials say it would bring a long-term solution to the funding crisis.
A similar bill was introduced last year, but died in a Senate committee.