Colorado will officially celebrate Public Lands
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill this month that establishes a new state holiday to commemorate Colorado’s federal, state, and local public lands.
Starting in 2017, the third Saturday in May will be Colorado Public Lands Day.
Colorado has 24 million acres of national public lands, comprised of national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests, and Bureau of Land Management-administered public land. The outdoor recreation industry generates more than $13 billion in economic activity a year and supports 125,000 jobs in the state.
To celebrate the new bill that is vital to Colorado’s way of life and businesses, the statewide nonprofit organization Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) encourages everyone to partake in one of its many volunteer opportunities throughout the state to help keep Colorado’s public lands healthy and thriving. VOC offers opportunities for all ages, skills, and interests. Activities range from planting trees and gardens, to removing invasive plants and revegetating fire-scarred land, to building trails and restoring wildlife habitat.
“Public lands mean we, the public, have a responsibility to protect and preserve these lands,” said Baker Easley. Bipartisan support for Public Lands Day – especially at a time when politics often cause much division and strife – is a superb indication of the passion Coloradans have for outdoor recreation on public lands, as part of a fit and fulfilling lifestyle.”
Those interested in giving back to Colorado’s public places can explore and register for more than 50 volunteer opportunities via VOC’s volunteer calendar at voc.org/volunteer. Places to volunteer include Urad Lake, which is Colorado’s newest State Wildlife Area, Rocky Mountain National Park, the Continental Divide, and more.
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Due to current public health guidance, there will not be an in-person wilderness campsite lottery for Rocky Mountain National Park this year.