Public access to private land expands with the addition of 210,000 acres to the Colorado Public Access Program. The Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) Commission recently and unanimously approved the enrollment. These additions will be accessible for the fall 2020 hunting season brings the total private land acreage available to the public for hunting up to 777,000 acres.
Colorado Public Access Program
The program provides various seasonal hunting and fishing opportunities on Colorado State Trust Lands. State trust lands enrolled in the Public Access Program are open to a variety of uses, but primarily hunting and fishing. Additionally, the State Land Board does lease or permit other uses for agriculture, mining, oil & gas and renewable energy.
“Colorado is known for our incredible natural beauty, and I’m committed to expanding the public’s access to and enjoyment of our treasured state and federal land. CPW’s Public Access Program for sportsmen and women is growing just in time for the upcoming 2020 hunting season. We will continue looking at more opportunities to increase access and help relieve overcrowded areas. The Public Access Program is one of several ways hunters and anglers can get out in Colorado. Colorado spans 66.6 million acres and 23 million acres of public land is available for hunting.”
– Governor Jared Polis
Where Is The Accessible Land
The online Colorado Hunting Atlas is the best place to find these areas. Locations of the new lands enrolled in the program will be announced with the release of the 2020 Colorado Recreational Lands Brochure later in 2020. The May 7th vote was the next step in a strategic, multi-year plan to grow the program to up to 1 million acres.
Currently, State Trust Lands available to the Public Access Program exist in the plains of Eastern Colorado and Northwestern Colorado. Between these two regions, there are fantastic opportunities for bird hunting, small game hunting and big game hunting. Additionally, the new land enrollment further expand the geography and hunting opportunities available.
“I congratulate the Parks and Wildlife Commission and the State Land Board for expanding access to Colorado state lands. The expansion of the Public Access Program passed by CPW will grow the program by 37 percent to 777,000 acres over the next year. Colorado is a growing state with increased demand for hunting and angling access. In the coming years, Governor Polis and the Department of Natural Resources will continue to seek additional access opportunities to encourage Coloradans to experience, explore and enjoy the outdoors.”
– Dan Gibbs, Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources
The CPW Agreement
Public access to State Trust Lands for hunting and fishing is possible via the Public Access Program. This program is simply a lease agreement between the State Land Board and CPW. CPW funds the expansion of the program through hunting and fishing license fees made available through the ‘Future Generations Act.’ This Act was approved by the Colorado General Assembly in 2018.
“I’m thrilled that hunters and anglers will have more access to state trust lands in Colorado this season. Hunters and anglers are a critical foundation to wildlife conservation. Additionally, they make significant contributions to our local economy, especially rural economies. It’s an added benefit that our Public Access Program helps fund Colorado school kids.”
– Dan Prenzlow, CPW Director