Colorado Governor Signs Bill That Benefits Backcountry Education, Rescue & More


backcountry search

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed an important bill yesterday that transfers a significant amount of money to conservation efforts, state parks, and to avalanche education and awareness.

The move comes after Colorado had one of the most deadly avalanche seasons in recent history.

Here’s what the bill does:

General Fund Transfer to Support Department Of Natural Resources Programs
In the 2020-21 state fiscal year, bill HB21-1326 transfers $25 million from the general fund as follows:

  • $750,000 to the Colorado avalanche information center fund for use by the Colorado avalanche information center in the department of natural resources (department) to support backcountry avalanche safety programs
  • $3.5 million to the wildlife cash fund for use by CPW to implement its statewide wildlife action plan and the conservation of native species
  • $2.25 million to the search and rescue fund for use by the department of local affairs in consultation with the division to support backcountry search and rescue efforts
  • $1 million to the outdoor equity fund for use by the division to implement the outdoor equity grant program
  • $17.5 million to the parks and outdoor recreation cash fund for use by the division as follows: $3.5 million for staffing and maintenance projects; and $14 million for infrastructure and state park development projects
Colorado Avalanche Information Center

An avalanche that killed two backcountry skiers near Ophir Pass earlier this season. Photo: CAIC

It’s truly remarkable how much money will be allocated to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, and to search and rescue crews.

The bill shows a strong commitment from Colorado politicians to preserve the sanctity of their state’s glorious mountains, and to continue to make them safer for more people to enjoy.

Cheers to the Colorado legislature and Governor Polis for this significant investment in Colorado’s great outdoors.

Here’s to hoping other states follow suit!

Featured Image Courtesy: Visit Estes Park, CO

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