Colorado Parks and Wildlife adding more than 200,000 acres for hunting

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission has expanded the amount of state trust land open for public access hunting this fall by more than a third with the addition of 210,000 acres. The expansion brings the total enrolled acres to 777,000 in a multi-year effort to reach 1 million acres.

The purpose of CPW’s Public Access Program is to provide limited seasonal hunting and angling opportunities on Colorado trust land through a lease agreement between CPW and the State Land Board. The commission approved the addition in a virtual meeting on May 7.

According to a CPW news release, 3 million acres of land have been held in trust since Colorado statehood in 1876 with the purpose of funding public schools. The land board derives revenue from state trust lands by leasing them for hunting, recreation, agriculture, oil and gas extraction and renewable energy. Colorado public schools have received $1.7 billion from those leases since 2008.

“I’m thrilled that hunters and anglers will have more access to state trust lands in Colorado this season,” CPW director Dan Prenzlow said in the release. “Hunters and anglers are a critical foundation to wildlife conservation. They make significant contributions to our local economy, especially rural economies. It’s an added benefit that our Public Access Program helps fund Colorado school kids.”

The location of the additional trust land open to hunting this fall will be announced later this year. The total acreage of public land in Colorado where hunting is permitted is 23 million acres, more than 34% of the land in the state.

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