Colorado’s Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan: 2019-2023

Colorado Parks & Wildlife, in conjunction with the Colorado Outdoor Partnership, have finalized a 5-year plan which has the goal of continuing to develop Colorado’s outdoor recreational industry, introducing more Coloradans to the outdoors, and also maintaining environmental and cultural conservation.

The 5-year plan lays out four priorities which will help it achieve it’s goal.

  • Maintain and enhance sustainable access and opportunity for all Coloradans to enjoy the outdoors
  • Create a stewardship of care amongst Coloradans and visitors for our outdoors
  • Conservation of land, water, and wildlife for future generations
  • Create sustainable funding for Colorado’s outdoor future

This 5-year plan is fantastic news on all fronts. From a financial perspective, Colorado’s outdoor industry is responsible for 511,000 jobs in the state, $37 billion in consumer spending, and $21 billion in wages paid to Coloradans. So it’s absolutely imperative that we maintain our outdoor industry.

The plan also lays out environmental conservational steps which will help sustain the state’s natural beauty in the face of population growth and other environmental threats.

As departing Gov. John Hickenlooper recently stated, “Outdoor recreation opportunities contribute to increased quality of life, economic prosperity, and the health of Colorado communities and residents.” Regardless of where you fall on Hickenlooper’s other policies, he’s spot-on on this one. Colorado’s future is tied hand-in-hand to its outdoor/environmental policies.

As Coloradans, regardless of our political affiliation, we should support this measure. Protecting our outdoors, while planning for our future financial stability is the type of move that unites all of us together.