DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants to hear from hunters and anglers about how the organization can make some budget cuts without compromising the outdoor experience.

CPW has faced substantial budget shortfalls in recent years which have resulted in the elimination of more than 50 positions and $40 million from wildlife budgets.

CPW says wildlife funding provided by sportsmen contributes to hunting opportunities while sustaining healthy populations, operating fish hatcheries that provide diverse fishing opportunities for Colorado lakes and rivers, preserving wildlife areas and restoring wildlife populations to Colorado.

(credit: ThinkStock)

(credit: ThinkStock)

“People will see a cut in fish management we’ll see a cut in licenses that are available to the public. We’ll see less access to places they have hunted and fished in the past and so we’d like to not see that happen obviously, but it’s up to the sportsmen. Do you want to increase a little bit, do you want no increase, do you want to double fees (fishing and hunting licenses)? That is something that is definitely part of the conversation but it’s not up to us. Any conversations we’re having right now is data gathering. We want to make sure that we hear from sportsmen, ‘What do you think we should do?’ At that point it will be up to our legislature to determine whether or not we have the ability to increase fees and to what degree that would look like,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The organization said that without increasing revenues, CPW will have to cut staff and possibly reduce access to hunting and fishing. Extreme measures would include putting gates on state lands, shutting down hatcheries and limiting hunting licenses.

Some sportsmen may be willing to pay more to keep hunting and fishing rights across Colorado.

(credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

(credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

CPW will take comments and input on how to manage the shortfall at two meetings this week. Everyone is invited to attend.

Fort Collins
Tuesday, Aug. 30, 6 p.m.
Marriott Hotel
350 E Horsetooth Rd, Fort Collins

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 6:30 p.m.
Evergreen Fire Rescue
1802 Bergen Pkwy, Evergreen

Those who cannot attend can comment directly to the CPW online.

Comments (5)
  1. Allen Chapman says:

    How much of an increase are we talking about? Also, we should get rid of the big game lottery system and go back to what we had before where you just buy a license over the counter and save all thee associated costs with the current system and the return of money to non successful applicants.

  2. MB Tuner says:

    How do their costs double? Are we trying to pay for ancillary expenses, veering from what we had before. They should only need to keep up with inflation, 1-3% a year, right?

  3. never mind says:

    Hug a hunter program suggests that Hunters and Fishermen (and women) are paying for “other” wildlife experiences. Perhaps those “other” wildlife experiences should pay their own way.
    Bottom line: increase the fees and I’ll not buy a license.

  4. Jerry Wunsch says:

    The state should publish the proposed budget for the fish and game division so the public can see how they are spending their money from frees and licenses . That would make it a lot easier for the public to suggest what parts of the budget needs to be cut to stay within the amount of revenue they are now collecting. Arbitrarily raising fees with out telling the public where the money is needed sounds like Obamacare on a state level.

  5. Bruce Sikich says:

    Lets tell the people the true cause of the shortfall in revenue. The Colorado Game And Fish Dept. was the most efficient dept in Colorado until our wonderful governor combined it with the parks dept. Money that should be spent on hunting and fishing is siphoned off for other purposes. Thank our governor for this problem. He has no problem robbing Peter to pay Paul.