Colorado Public Lands Day
The Colorado state legislature in May 2016 passed a bill establishing the third Saturday in May as a holiday to celebrate the significant contributions that national, state, and local public lands within Colorado make to wildlife, recreation, the economy, and to Coloradans’ quality of life. The bill passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper.
Colorado is the first state in the nation to establish its own public lands day. The effort to establish a Public Lands Day in Colorado was put forth, in part, as a contrast to extreme land seizure efforts such as the weeks-long siege of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by armed militants in January 2016.
Coloradans want to celebrate, not seize our national public lands, which is evident in polls where 59 percent of Colorado voters oppose efforts to turn national public lands over to the state. Colorado has 24 million acres of national public lands, including mountains, deserts, forests, and grasslands. The outdoor recreation economy generates $13.2 billion per year and supports 125,000 direct jobs in Colorado.
The first Colorado Public Lands Day will be celebrated on May 20, 2017.
“Colorado has done what no other state has done.It has taken a definitive step away from the politics of public lands seizure and instituted a tangible recognition that public lands are an enormous public good. Our public lands support our legendary quality of life and lift our economy. We have changed the tenor and tone of the debate. We have again demonstrated that it is a Western value to collaborate and improve, rather than pursue conflict and bluster.” Read more on Medium >>
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