Don’t forget your habitat stamp if visiting Radium hot springs | SkyHiNews.com

Don’t forget your habitat stamp if visiting Radium hot springs

Glen Jones, who was residing in Winter Park last summer and is back again this year, was fined last year with a group of friends while using the natural hot springs near Radium. A Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) official ticketed them for using the area without a Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp.

Jones said he and the other members of his group were unaware that they needed a stamp.

On Tuesday, he and friends revisited the area after purchasing a stamp. Jones said there is now a large sign that says visitors need a stamp, but it doesn’t say where to buy them.

“I have been investigating this for a year now,” Jones said. “There’s no way that you know how to get this pass unless somebody tells you.”

Habitat stamps can be purchased wherever hunting or fishing licenses are sold, as well as on the DOW’s Web site, http://www.wildlife.state.co.us, or by phone at (800) 244-5613.

Jones said he purchased his at Kremmling Mercantile.

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The habitat stamp costs $5 with the purchase of each hunting or fishing license up to a maximum of $10 per year. People who do not hunt or fish can purchase a stamp for $10.25, which includes the Colorado Search and Rescue fee.

People will need their driver’s license and Social Security number to purchase a stamp. Anyone between the ages of 19 and 64 is required to have a valid Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp to enter a DOW-managed State Wildlife Area.

Radium hot springs are located on Bureau Land Management property and can be accessed from the O.C. Mudrage Campground near the Radium State Wildlife area.

Doug Gillham, wildlife technician for the Colorado Division of Wildlife in Hot Sulphur Springs, said more people are learning about the stamp.

“It’s just a constant thing that comes up,” he added.

Gillham noted that the hot springs have not been accessible since the runoff started.

“The river has been high enough that they have been flooded out,” Gillham said.

The springs will re-emerge when the river level drops, he said.

The habitat stamp program was started in 2006, “as a way to preserve and enhance wildlife habitat.” Sales averaged $3.5 million in the first two years. That money was used to match a variety of grant programs to leverage more than $38 million for habitat protection efforts in Colorado, according to a press release.

The Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp was created during the 2005 legislative session. The bill authorizes the sale of the stamp from 2006 through 2010, with an option to continue past the 2010 deadline with authorization from the Colorado Legislature.

The law mandates that 60 percent of the money collected must be spent on big game winter range and big game migration corridors. The remaining money can be used on other habitat types critical to wildlife in Colorado, including wetlands, riparian, shortgrass prairie, and forest land projects.

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