Date: 3/23/21 2:23 pm From: Amy C <acervene...> Subject: [cobirds] New Options for Birding State Wildlife Areas
I received the below message from CPW today. Starting May 1, you will be
able to purchase a Colorado State Wildlife Area Pass, similar to a state
parks pass, to access SWAs. You will no longer be required to purchase a
hunting or fishing license for access. See details on pricing and more
I'm looking forward to exploring these areas and grateful to CPW for
listening to residents and adding the new option.
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Colorado Parks and Wildlife <dnr_cpw_getsocial...>
Date: Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 10:30 AM
Subject: Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approves new pass for state
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
*Travis Duncan Statewide Public Information Officer 720-595-8294 /
*Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approves new pass for state
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2021
DENVER – At its virtual meeting last week, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Commission voted unanimously to approve a new Colorado State Wildlife Area
Pass as an option to access state wildlife areas. The new pass will go on
sale May 1, 2021.
“This is an important step in ensuring everyone who visits our state
wildlife areas is contributing to their management and maintenance,” said
CPW Director Dan Prenzlow.
*Colorado State Wildlife Area Pass*
1 day: $9
Youth (ages 16-17) annual: $10.07
Senior (ages 65 and older) annual: $10.07
Low-income annual: $10.07
(Fees include a $1.50 Wildlife Education Fund surcharge)
*Plus a fee of $10.40 for a Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp
The annual pass is valid from March 1 – March 31 of the following year,
also aligning with the 13-month season for fishing licenses in Colorado.
*History and funding of state wildlife areas in Colorado*
CPW now manages more than 350 SWAs, all set aside to conserve wildlife
habitat with dollars from hunting and angling licenses. Those funds are
also matched with federal income from the excise taxes collected on the
sale of hunting and fishing equipment.
While these properties have been identified as critical wildlife habitat,
over the years they have also gained significant value for outdoor
Because these properties have always been open to the public, not just to
the hunters and anglers that purchased them and pay for their maintenance,
many people now visit these properties and use them as they would any other
As Colorado’s population - and desire for outdoor recreation - has
continued to grow, a significant increase in traffic to these SWAs has
disrupted wildlife, the habitat the areas were acquired to protect, and the
hunters and anglers whose contributions were critical to acquiring these
That’s why in July of 2020, new regulations went into effect requiring all
visitors 18 or older to possess a valid hunting or fishing license to
access any SWA leased by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
CPW had historically been bound by stringent guidance from the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service on how income earned from these properties could be
accounted for, making the creation of another kind of pass to access these
areas financially unfeasible. But in late 2020, CPW received approval from
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a new accounting approach that made
adding a pass as an option for access to these properties feasible.
In November 2020, an SWA Working Group was created with CPW staff and
stakeholders from around the state to determine what a new pass might look
*A new State Wildlife Area Pass*
At its January 2021 meeting, the CPW Commission heard recommendations from
the SWA Working Group on creating a new Colorado SWA Pass.
The group recommended pricing the annual pass at a similar level to the
annual fishing license, offering discounted passes to youth and seniors
priced comparably to youth and senior fishing licenses, offering a 1-day
pass option priced comparably to the 1-day parks pass, requiring a Habitat
Stamp and a surcharge for the Wildlife Management Public Education Fund in
addition to the pass, and offering a discounted low-income annual pass
option. The age at which a hunting license, fishing license or SWA pass is
required to access SWAs was reduced to all persons 16 years and older to
better correspond to the youth pass and license options.
Now that the Colorado SWA Pass is available, the SWA Working Group will
move into Phase II of its work, completing an audit of all Colorado’s SWAs
to determine which properties may require additional restrictions on
allowed activities, seasonal closures for wildlife, and reviews to
determine if the property is still meeting its intended purpose as a
CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state
parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including:
42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately
900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching,
camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education.
CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact
annually throughout Colorado.