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Hunting or fishing licenses required to access any State Wildlife Area

The new policy begins July 1 and applies to those 18 and older at State Wildlife Areas and State Trust lands leased by Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Credit: CPW

COLORADO, USA — Starting July 1, all visitors 18 or older will need a valid hunting or fishing license to access any State Wildlife Area (SWA) or State Trust Land (STL) leased by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

Colorado SWAs & STLs are acquired using hunter and angler dollars for the sole purpose to conserve wildlife habitat and provide wildlife-related recreation. Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages more than 350 SWAs and nearly 240 STLs.

The properties have always been open to the public, not just to the hunters and anglers that purchased them and pay for their maintenance, and many people visit them and use them as they would any other public land, CPW said.

RELATED: Recent moose, elk encounters prompts warning from CPW

As Colorado's population has increased in recent years, CPW has noticed a significant trend of people engaging in activities for which these properties were not intended. 

These issues range from illegal camping to engaging in recreational activities that disturb and displace wildlife. To begin to address this trend, the CPW Commission voted to require everyone who enters an SWA to possess a proper and valid license to hunt or fish in Colorado.

“This new rule change will help our agency begin to address some of the unintended uses we’re seeing at many of our State Wildlife Areas and State Trust Lands,” said CPW Director Dan Prenzlow.

RELATED: Parks and Wildlife advises sticking to leash laws as wild animal sightings increase

The change is also a recognition by the CPW Commission that wildlife management is not a tax-funded endeavor. CPW relies on the sale of hunting and fishing licenses to preserve these important areas.

Click/tap here to read FAQs about the changes

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