By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN
The 2019 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) for Colorado is now final following extensive collaboration between Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and statewide recreation and conservation partners.
As outdoor recreation participation booms in Colorado, the plan lays out four key priorities to address the state’s needs for advancing conservation and sustainable outdoor recreation over the next five years.
Colorado’s SCORP identifies four top priorities:
• Enhance sustainable access and opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
• Promote stewardship of natural, cultural and recreational resources.
• Conserve lands, waters and wildlife.
• Ensure adequate funding to sustain Colorado’s outdoors for the future.
“Colorado’s outdoor heritage, natural beauty and diverse landscapes make our state a perfect place to enjoy all forms of outdoor recreation,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “I am reminded daily of the benefits outdoor recreation contributes toward Colorado’s quality of life, economic prosperity and public health. The places we love to work, live and play depend on Coloradans to take care of them, and we encourage Coloradans to take greater responsibility and stewardship of our natural and cultural resources.”
The increasing popularity of the state’s outdoor spaces along with the understanding of how important both outdoor recreation and conservation of our resources are to Colorado make it essential that all Coloradans work collaboratively to conserve our wildlife and wild spaces.
“Though our agency finalized the SCORP, it’s important to remember that this is not CPW’s plan; it’s Colorado’s plan,” said Bob Broscheid, director of CPW. “This year’s SCORP reports that consumer spending on outdoor recreation contributes $62 billion to Colorado’s economy. The outdoor recreation industry employs 511,000 Coloradans and is one of the largest sectors in Colorado’s economy. Whether or not you consider yourself an avid outdoor recreationist, our natural resources and outdoor recreation economy directly impact you as a resident of Colorado.”
Members of the Colorado Outdoor Partnership (CO-OP) provided a depth of knowledge and heavy input into developing the 2019 SCORP.
“Leaders from conservation, recreation, agriculture and all levels of government collaborated to identify the five-year priorities presented in the SCORP,” said Ann Baker Easley, executive director of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) and CO-OP member. “I believe this plan sets a strong agenda to ensure that Colorado’s outdoor resources are here for future generations to enjoy. Now, we must work together to put this plan into action.”
Colorado’s population is projected to grow by around 100,000 people each year over the next 20 years. This will result in additional crowding and pressure on the state’s outdoor resources, including outdoor recreation infrastructure and wildlife habitat.
“More and more people are coming to Colorado each year and environmental stressors, including drought, fire and floods, further require us to plan and be thoughtful about how we grow in order to accommodate more recreational users and maintain a robust tourism sector,” said Hickenlooper.
“Our outdoor spaces, recreation opportunities and wildlife are defining characteristics of Colorado,” Broscheid stated. “Conservation and outdoor recreation are completely intertwined in our state, so it’s up to all of us to get involved and play a role in caring for and maintaining these resources and the Colorado way of life.”
For more information on the plan, or to learn how to get involved, visit: Coloradoscorp.org.
By Colorado Parks and Wildlife