Outdoor Alliance and Outdoor Industry Association commend Colorado’s landmark Public Lands Day Bill
(Boulder, CO) May 17, 2016 – Today, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will sign into law Colorado’s Public Lands Day bill, which will establish the third Saturday in May as a holiday to celebrate the state’s public land. The bill’s summary states that it intends to recognize “the significant contributions that national, state, and local public lands within Colorado make to wildlife, recreation, the economy, and to Coloradans’ quality of life.”
The Public Lands Day bill is the first of its kind, and it repudiates recent efforts in Colorado and across the West to seize, privatize, or sell off public lands.
“Public lands are a priceless component of our Colorado identity, and it’s heartening to see our elected representatives recognizing how important public lands are to Colorado’s way of life,” said Nathan Fey, director of Colorado’s River Stewardship Program and member of Outdoor Alliance Colorado, a regional coalition of outdoor recreation advocacy groups in the state.
In Colorado, outdoor recreation generates $13.2 billion dollars in consumer spending, supporting 125,000 jobs. "A poll we released last fall showed that more than 80 percent of Coloradans believe public lands have a positive impact on our quality of life, our economy, and opportunities for hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation in our state,” said Cailin O’Brien-Feeney, local recreation advocacy manager for Outdoor Industry Association. “It's great to see our elected officials honor those widely held sentiments by creating a day to celebrate our rich public lands heritage.”
Advocates for public lands and outdoor recreation in the state commended the bill. Jason Bertolacci, Colorado and Wyoming region director for International Mountain Bicycling Association, said: “Outdoor Alliance Colorado is grateful for the bill’s sponsors and the hard work of many supporters to ensure the passage of this legislation.”
“Colorado has some of the most inspiring public lands in the U.S., and the state has been a leader in protecting and celebrating outdoor experiences. The Public Lands Day bill is a clear sign that Colorado values and wants to safeguard its incredible natural resources,” said Maria Millard, policy director for the American Alpine Club, which is a member of Outdoor Alliance Colorado.
Outdoor Alliance is a nonprofit coalition of organizations that include American Whitewater, American Canoe Association, Access Fund, International Mountain Bicycling Association, Winter Wildlands Alliance, the Mountaineers, and American Alpine Club. Outdoor Alliance has regional networks across the west, including Colorado, that brings together local recreation voices to advocate for public lands. Outdoor Alliance unites backcountry skiers, hikers, paddlers, mountain bikers, boaters, and climbers who share a commitment to protecting public lands. For more information, visit outdooralliance.org.
Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, CO, with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA unites and serves over 1200 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business, market & consumer insights and industry trends. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.
About Outdoor Alliance Colorado
Outdoor Alliance Colorado (OAC) is a statewide partnership that serves as a platform for members to coordinate their efforts to protect public lands, waters and snowscapes, and to ensure these places can be experienced in a meaningful and sustainable manner. Outdoor Alliance Colorado is a regional network of Outdoor Alliance, a national coalition of human-powered outdoor recreation advocacy groups. Members of Outdoor Alliance Colorado include Access Fund, American Alpine Club, American Whitewater, Colorado Mountain Club, and the Colorado Mountain Bike Association (COMBA). Learn more at outdooralliance.org/colorado