DENVER, Col., May 23, 2018 - In the presence of Ducks Unlimited representatives and other wildlife advocates, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed two bills into law that will mean more funds for conservation projects. One bill extends the Colorado lottery that provides funds for a major source of habitat project dollars, Great Outdoor Colorado (GOCO). The other piece of legislation increases revenue for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), including an increase to the state waterfowl stamp by $5. These funds are critical for CPW and conservation work in the state.
“Colorado is the envy of the world when it comes to our outdoor recreation opportunities and wildlife. That’s why today is truly a great day for all Coloradans who care about our state’s outdoor heritage.” said Michael Findlay, government affairs representative for Ducks Unlimited. "On behalf of the more than 11,000 Colorado DU members, we would like to thank Governor Hickenlooper and the legislature for their help to ensure we have the financial resources to maintain Colorado’s outdoor heritage, world-class wildlife and natural wonders.”
The Colorado lottery has brought in about $100 million per year each of the last three years, with most of proceeds going toward conservation. The state lottery division was set to expire in 2024. The new legislation extends the lottery division for an additional 25 years to 2049.
“Sportsmen are conservationists and understand maintaining, improving and protecting Colorado’s pristine resources comes at a cost,” Findlay said, “We’re proud to do our part to ensure all Coloradans can enjoy these natural wonders for generations to come.”
A second bill increases revenue for CPW and includes a provision that doubles the state waterfowl stamp from $5 to $10 while giving CPW the ability to raise the price every three years in conjunction with the Consumer Price Index It also allows up to 25 percent of stamp funds to go to conserving an important nesting group, the Canadian Prairies.
Eliminating red-tape and freeing up money for habitat management was the other leg of the bill.
“This bill is about so much more than financial sustainability,” Findlay said. “By allowing CPW to send a portion of the funds generated in Colorado to critical breeding grounds in Canada, the people of Colorado are putting their dollars where they will be most effective to establish thriving duck populations all over the region.”
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 14 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.
Becky Jones Mahlum