2016 #coleg: #Colorado Establishes First State Public Lands Day in the Nation — @ConservationCO #keepitpublic

Here’s the release from Conservation Colorado (Jessica Goad):

The Colorado state legislature on Friday night passed a bill establishing the third Saturday in May as a holiday to celebrate, as the bill’s summary states, “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, with a 36-29 vote in the House and a 25-8 vote in the Senate. It is now headed to the governor’s desk.

“Colorado is a national leader when it comes to conservation issues, and our support for public lands is no exception,” said Scott Braden, Wilderness and Public Lands Advocate at Conservation Colorado. “People come from far and wide to visit our mountains, deserts, forests, and grasslands, and for that they deserve to be celebrated.”

The effort to establish a Public Lands Day in Colorado was put forth, in part, as a contrast to response to extreme land seizure efforts such as the weeks-long siege of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by armed militants in January.

“Coloradans want to celebrate, not seize our national public lands,” continued Braden. “We have no patience for extremist attempts to privatize or undermine our shared outdoor heritage. We hope that our efforts here in Colorado send a message to the Bundys and their political sympathizers: we are going lead the West in turning the tide away from their dangerous agenda.”

More details:

  • Colorado has 24 million acres of national public lands, including mountains, deserts, forests, and grasslands.
  • 59 percent of Colorado voters oppose efforts to turn national public lands over to the state.
  • The outdoor recreation economy generates $13.2 billion per year and supports 125,000 direct jobs in Colorado.
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