COLORADO — This past week, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved a multi-year expansion of the Public Access Program.
The expansion will add up to 100,000 acres of State Trust Land to the program, which will be available to access by the fall 2019 hunting season. The Public Access Program provides limited, seasonal hunting and fishing opportunities on State Trust Land.
According to CPW, the decision is part of a multi-year effort to double the size of the Public Access Program from 480,000 acres to nearly 1 million acres. This expansion is the first major expansion of the program since it began in 1993.
"I congratulate the Parks and Wildlife Commission and the State Land Board for expanding access to Colorado state lands,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources. “The expansion of the Public Access Program passed by CPW today and the State Land Board earlier this month will grow the program by more than 20% to 585,000 acres over the next year. Colorado is a growing state with increased demand for recreation, hunting and angling throughout Colorado. 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.”
CPW said they will announce the locations of the new lands enrolled in the program in August. Much of the 480,000 acres that is currently part of the program are located in Northwestern Colorado where there is prime big game hunting. CPW said as part of the expansion, lands located in the plains of Eastern Colorado, where bird and small game hunting is popular, will be enrolled in the program.
“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 2019 hunting season. We will continue looking at more opportunities to increase access and help relieve overcrowded areas,” said Governor Jared Polis.
Colorado holds claim to nearly 67 million acres of land, 23 million of which are public land avaialble for hunting.
You can find land enrolled in the Public Access Program using CPW's Hunting Atlas.