By Makenzie O'Keefe

(CBS4) – As more and more people continue to get outdoors to recreate, there will be a major change starting July 1, 2020 for anyone who wants to access a State Wildlife Area (SWA) or State Trust Land leased by CPW. Any visitor 18 or older will now be required to have a valid hunting or fishing license to be on the land.

(credit: CBS)

“We’re just trying to get the properties back for wildlife, and the intended purpose,” said Mark Lamb, an area wildlife manager with Colorado Parks Wildlife.

Across Colorado there are more than 300 SWA’s, which are acres of designated land for wildlife management, wildlife habitat, and wildlife related recreation.

“For most of the wildlife areas, hunting and fishing are the primary recreational activities,” Lamb said. “But here at this one, Mount Evans State Recreation Area a lot of people come to bike or hike too.”

(credit: CBS)

As our states population continues to grow and more people are itching to get inside during COVID-19, the state’s trails and wildlife areas are feeling the impacts of increased visitors.

“One of the biggest issues with the other wildlife area is that people don’t stay on the trails,” Lamb said. “They like to kind of go wherever they want to go and that’s a big impact, that’s really pushing wildlife away.”

CPW hopes that requiring visitors to have a hunting or fishing license to use the SWA’s, even for hiking or biking, it will reduce negative impact.

(credit: CBS)

Lamb said another way it will help, is that the wildlife management department does not get tax dollars for conservation, so the money from the licenses will help to fund habitat projects. On Tuesday, Lamb showed CBS4’s Makenzie O’Keefe an area where they are working to get more vegetation for areas elk can go to survive the winter.

“Our revenue comes, like maintaining roads or trying to do habitat projects, from the sale of hunting or fishing licenses,” Lamb said.

LINKS: Hunting Licenses | Fishing Licenses

Makenzie O'Keefe

Comments (8)
  1. Erik says:

    So , basically only the wealthier people with disposable income will have access.

    1. JG says:

      Yes, because licenses are so outrageoussly expensive.

  2. noneya noneya says:

    For those concerned, here is a map of the areas where this is required.

  3. Utter swine! The State of Colorado has no business impeding access to the closest (federally) designated Wilderness to the largest metropolitan area in Colorado, but that is exactly what it does by means of the Mt. Evans State Wildlife Area, which sits athwart the trailheads of five of the National Forest trails on the east side of the Wilderness. This was tried years ago — the way it works in practice is that people drive out to the end of Bear Creek Road to hike, only to be greeted by officious signs in the middle of the woods warning them that they will be ticketed for parking unless they’ve already purchased a $40 permit. Colorado should be facilitating Coloradans’ access to the federal public lands which constitute most of the State instead of extorting us — abolish CPW now! Remember, when you play, you help perpetuate keeping Coloradans out of our National Forests.

    1. JG says:

      Buying a license online would have taken less keystrokes than your reply.

  4. RUSTY GUSTINE says:

    Does this also include Non-Residents???

  5. RUSTY GUSTINE says:


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