Colorado Parks and Wildlife expands public hunting access by 100,000 acres |

Colorado Parks and Wildlife expands public hunting access by 100,000 acres

Deepan Dutta
Summit Daily
There were 11.5 million hunters in 2016, according to the most recent figures published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a decline of 2.2 million from 2011.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife/Courtesy Photo

FRISCO — The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission has unanimously approved a multiyear expansion of the Public Access Program, which provides limited, seasonal hunting and fishing opportunities on Colorado trust land across the state. 

The vote is the first step in a multiyear effort to double the size of the program from 480,000 acres — the majority of which are in northwestern Colorado, where there is prime big-game hunting — to nearly 1 million acres.

Parks and Wildlife also plans to enroll land on the plains of eastern Colorado, where bird hunting and small-game hunting is popular, to provide a broader array of opportunities on trust land.

In August, Parks and Wildlife will announce the locations of the new areas, 100,000 acres of which are expected to be added by the fall 2019 hunting season. This would be the first major expansion of the program since it began in 1993.

The Public Access Program is made possible through a lease agreement between the State Land Board and Parks and Wildlife, which funds its 1 million acre lease through hunting and fishing license fees and the Future Generations Act approved by the 2018 Legislature. 

The public can view land enrolled in the Public Access Program using Parks and Wildlife’s Hunting Atlas