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Financial Sustainability Legislation
Financial Sustainability Legislation

Bill 1321
​In order to sustain Colorado state parks and wildlife opportunities, the legislature is considering a bill that would allow the Parks and Wildlife Commission the limited authority to address current financial challenges.

Funding is needed to:

  • Repair high-priority dams to ensure public safety and maintain recreational opportunities.

  • Support public access for hunting and fishing in Colorado.

  • Increase efforts to improve wildlife habitat.

  • Renovate hatcheries in order to continue stocking reservoirs and streams.

  • Continue inspection programs to keep Aquatic Nuisance Species out of Colorado’s waters.

  • Maintain and improve park facilities including trails, campgrounds and visitor centers.

  • Improve outdoor recreation educational programs to get more Coloradans outside.

  • Increase youth and adult hunter and angler recruitment.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife relies on user fees, NOT general tax dollars. However, the fees have not kept pace with operational costs and inflation.​

  • Resident hunting and fishing license fees have not increased since 2005.

  • Park entrance fees have not increased since 2010.

  • Since 2009, CPW has cut or defunded 50 positions and reduced $40 million from its wildlife budg​​​et.

  • Just to maintain current operations, CPW forecasts needing an additional $14 million annually for wildlife and $6.5 million annually for parks.

​​Did you know? These activities have an annual impact in Colorado of $6.1 billion.​
Fact 1 Fact 2  Fact 3  Fact 4
Hunting and wildlife viewing benefit every county in the state — urban and rural.​

Public Input Shaped this Proposal:

CPW held 22 public meetings statewide. Particip​ants strongly supported increasing fees to ensure CPW’s financial sustainability.

Did you know? Wildlife and park funds are completely separate as required by state and federal law.

The Legislative Proposal Would Allow the Parks and Wildlife Commission to:

  • Phase in resident hunting and fishing license fee increases (with a cap not to exceed 25 percent above the level of most existing fees prior to January 1, 2020)​

  • Adjust prices and fees to keep up with inflation, keeping fees consistent with changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

  • Recoup transaction costs associated with all hunting license applications (not including over-the-counter licenses) by increasing the limited license drawing application fee up to $20.

  • Create an annual resident senior fishing license, limiting the price to no more than 50 percent of the price of a regular annual resident fishing license.

  • Raise fees on select nonresident licenses to ensure those license fees are not less than the equivalent resident license fees.

  • Adjust select fines/penalties to reflect changes in license prices.

  • Create a motorized and nonmotorized watercraft registration fee to help pay for the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Program. Phase in state park-related fee increases (with a cap not to exceed 50 percent above the level of existing fees).

  • Phase in state park-related fee increases (with a cap not to exceed 25 percent above the level of existing fees prior to January 1, 2020).​

  • Expand the opportunity for youth to fish without a fishing license from under 16 to under 18 years of age.​

Visit the ​ Financial Sustainability page to learn more.​

Fact 5  Fact 6Fact 7

HB17-1321 Updates​

4/18/2017 - Summary of Ame​​ndments

​L.001 - this is the "multi-page" amendment introduced on April 13:
    • ​Added the word "improving" to big game populations in the summary.
    • Removed the word "voucher" 
    • Changes the nonresident big game license fees from the 2005 level to the 2017 level (with exception of bear, lion and cow elk - those are discounted by rule and the discounts will be continued at least in the short-term)
    • Directs the Commission to consider offering discounted licenses (or combinations) for wildlife management and/or hunting and fishing recruitment and requires the consideration of a resident low-income license.
    • Changes the CPI language to clarify.
    • Caps the cost to replace a license at $25
    • Clarifies that duck stamp revenue can be used for habitat as well as capital improvements.
    • Reduces certain license suspension points from 10 to 5.
    • Increases from $50 to $150 the fine for transportation or release of native wildlife.
    • Standardizes park fee language to include passes, permits, licenses, registrations and stickers.
L.003 - Requires the Commission to phase in any increases in fees by capping the increases prior to January 1, 2020 to one-half the difference between today's fees and the new maximum fees (with a few exceptions like the ANS sticker, replacement licenses, Wildlife Council surcharge, and the nonrefundable drawing application fee).  This means that most licenses won't increase by more than 25% before 2020.  For example, a $7.00 park entrance fee could increase to $8.75 and a mule deer tag could increase from $30 to $37.50.​

L.004 - Changes the language in Section 4 of the bill such that fee title acquisitions of land are only allow with new license funds as a last resort (after all other avenues have been pursued).  This is similar language to what is included in the Habitat Stamp statute today.​ 

L.005 - Changes the minimum age for a resident fishing license from 16 to 18.  Now anyone below 18 won't need a fishing license.​​
HB17-1321 Status
4/17/2017 - Passed the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee, 8-5
4/19/2017 - Passed House Finance Committee, 11-2

Next Step
Assigned to House Appropriations Committee

Related News

Financial Sustainability Legislation​ Fact Sheet

Download the 2017 Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Financial Sustainability Legislation​ fact sheet.​​

Fact Sheet