Capitol Coverage: State Park, Hunting & Fishing License Fee Bill Advances

A proposal to allow state parks to increase fees, and hunting and fishing licenses by up to 50 percent has cleared its first hurdle at the state capitol. Bente Birkeland has more.

Park officials say an aging infrastructure, more visitors, and cuts from the state budget are putting a severe dent on resources.

Under house bill 1321 an annual park pass would increase from 70 to 87 dollars. And a daily fishing license would go up from 8 to 12 dollars.  Bob Broscheid is the Director of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Division.  He says fees haven’t increased in more than a decade.

BROSCHEID: The dollar is just not going far enough. It would be like you’re living off your wages of 2005.

Republican Representative Yuelin Willet of Grand Junction joined Democrats to support the bi-partisan measure. But he and others also want to expand who foots the bill to maintain parks and wildlife.

WILLET: I’ve actually had biking groups starting to reach out to me to ask how can we do our fair share. Not just bikers but runners, hikers, rock climbers.

The bill would set up a council to study that issue and give recommendations to lawmakers. I’m BB at the state capitol.