By Jennifer Churchill
Special to The SUN
The 2014 Colorado Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), the blueprint for sustaining Colorado’s outdoors heritage, is being released for public comment.
Outdoor recreation defines the quality of life in Colorado and is a significant factor in the state’s economy. Studies conducted as part of the 2014 SCORP estimate that outdoor recreation in Colorado contributes more than $34.5 billion in economic activity, creates 313,000 jobs and generates $4.9 million in local, state and federal taxes annually. There are nearly 30 million acres of publicly owned land in Colorado, with a majority of these lands open to outdoor recreation pursuits. Surveys conducted as part of the SCORP indicate that 90 percent of Coloradans participated in some form of outdoor recreation in Colorado over the past year.
To proactively manage critical outdoor recreation resources for future generations, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is working with a 44-member steering committee to develop the 2014-2018 Colorado Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. This committee includes representation from local, state and federal agencies, nonprofit groups, outdoor industry associations, the health care industry and similar interests.
The 2014 SCORP aims to guide outdoor recreation providers, decision-makers and stakeholders in recreation management and policy decisions over the next five years, said Brian Kurzel, policy and planning supervisor for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The 2014 SCORP identifies five statewide outdoor recreation priority areas where attention and energy should be focused: outdoor education, funding and financial sustainability, healthy lifestyles and communities, integration of outdoor recreation interests, and stewardship. Recommended actions are identified for each priority area to provide guidance for outdoor recreation stakeholders.
The full 2014 SCORP can be found online at coloradoscorp.org. The public is encouraged to review and provide feedback on the SCORP by Feb. 14 via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (303) 869-1350.