Bill to increase CPW fees advances to full Senate | CraigDailyPress.com

Bill to increase CPW fees advances to full Senate

Craig Press staff report

A bull elk stands in the snow in 2017.

DENVER — For the second time in three weeks, a Colorado State Senate committee has given overwhelming support to a bill that would provide long-term funding to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

First, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously passed the Hunting, Fishing and Parks for Future Generations Act, Senate Bill 18-143, on Feb. 13.

Then, on Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee endorsed the bill and forwarded it to the full Senate for consideration on a 6-1 vote.

The bill's progress is in contrast to last session, when a similar funding bill died in a Senate committee.

This year, senators are crediting CPW for conducting exhaustive statewide public outreach and using the feedback to resubmit an improved proposal that lays out specific ways money would be used, such as repairing deteriorating dams, recruiting new hunters, expanding conservation efforts and looking for ways to increase outdoor recreation opportunities for all Coloradans.

By 2025, CPW forecasts budget shortfalls of $30 million annually for wildlife and $11 million annually for parks. Unless it is able to address this funding shortfall, the agency's work on habitat conservation, state park operations and wildlife management faces a tough future.

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The Future Generations Act was heard on the Senate floor Thursday.

For more information about the Hunting, Fishing and Parks for Future Generations Act, visit cpw.state.co.us/future-generations-act.