Governor Polis proclaims Aug 31 - Sept 7 "Colorado Recreates Responsibly Week," reminding Coloradans to #CareForColorado while enjoying our great outdoors. Local, state and federal land managers and outdoor organizations ask us to recreate responsibly, following 7 key principles.
DENVER -- As Governor Polis proclaims Aug. 31 - Sept. 7 “Colorado Recreates Responsibly Week,” a diverse partnership of various state and federal agencies have come together to share information and simple tips for all Coloradans and visitors to #CareForColorado and #RecreateResponsibly. Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Colorado Tourism Office are working alongside the National Park Service and other land managers and recreation organizations throughout Colorado to encourage conservation and an outdoor ethic as a vital part of outdoor recreation.
While the outdoor recreation industry has long been an economic driver for Colorado, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has led to record visitation and needs for maintenance on public lands nationwide, often from new visitors to these outdoor spaces. Colorado has been no exception to this recent boom in visitation. As the appetite for outdoor opportunities continues to grow in the state, it’s imperative that all of us using the outdoors for better mental and physical health also consider the health of our natural resources.
“Living life outside is such an integral part of being a Coloradan, and why so many people come to visit our amazing state,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Our ability to provide unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities is a big part of a strong economy both statewide and in our local communities. We saw strong increases in safer, outdoor recreational activity during COVID-19 because our vast and great outdoors provides majestic, accessible space for all of us to improve our mental and physical health when things get tough. It’s important as we get outside to have a plan before we go, be aware of our impact on our trails and camping areas, honor fire restrictions, pick up all of our waste, respect wildlife and be kind to others and inclusive to all who visit our great Colorado outdoors.”
“Colorado Recreates Responsibly Week is a way to bring together our state, federal, local and tribal land managers and Coloradans across our state to highlight a unified message on how we can all do our part to care for Colorado and recreate responsibly.”
The #CareForColorado campaign aims to educate Coloradans and visitors to balance outdoor recreation with mindful conservation to preserve Colorado’s landscapes and outdoor heritage throughout the week leading to the Labor Day holiday. The campaign shares a specific principle each day of the week to ensure that those who are newer to outdoor recreation in the state - or those trying new activities and discovering new locations who may need a reminder - to follow Care for Colorado principles.
- Day 1 - Know Before You Go
- Day 2 - Stay to Trails
- Day 3 - Trash Your Trash
- Day 4 - Leave What You Find
- Day 5 - Be Careful with Fire
- Day 6 - Respect Wildlife
- Day 7 - Be Kind to Other Visitors
Colorado is home to 22 million acres of public lands for residents and visitors to explore, including 13 National Park Service units, 42 state parks, over 350 state wildlife areas, 11 national forests, 2 national grasslands, and a variety of additional local and federal lands and open spaces.
“Public lands across the country provide endless opportunities for recreational activities for everyone from the casual sightseer to the experienced adventurer,” said Nathan Souder, Superintendent, Colorado National Monument. “With your help, we can enjoy these special places while preserving them for future generations to enjoy.“
The Care for Colorado Coalition was founded by the Colorado Tourism Office and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and asks all recreationists to follow all seven key principles when enjoying the Colorado outdoors. Colorado Parks and Wildlife became a Stewardship Partner of the coalition in 2020, to help educate visitors to all of Colorado’s lands, waters and wildlife habitat to consider our impact on the wildlife and wild spaces that make Colorado so special.
While Governor Polis has issued the Colorado Recreates Responsibly Week proclamation, it’s important to #CareForColorado every day of the year. As our state offers unparalleled outdoor experiences all year long, our need to care for our lands, waters and wildlife must remain a part of all outdoor activities to ensure we can share this outdoor lifestyle with generations to come.
For more information on #CareForColorado, visit the following website and social media accounts:
Colorado Tourism Office Care for Colorado
National Park Service: Colorado
USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region
Bureau of Land Management Colorado
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.
About the Colorado Tourism Office: The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The CTO’s mission is to generate traveler spending through promotion of Colorado as a four-season, four-corner, world-class travel destination and development of compelling, sustainable travel experiences. In 2019, Colorado travelers directly spent $24.2 billion, generating $1.49 billion in local and state revenues. Replacing those revenues would have cost each Colorado household $707 in additional taxes last year. Tourism is the state’s second-largest employer, directly supporting 181,200 jobs in 2019. For more information, please visit https://industry.colorado.com/research.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
The BLM manages more than 8.3 million acres of public lands and more than 27 million acres of mineral estate in Colorado - mostly concentrated in the western part of the state. BLM lands in Colorado range from alpine tundra, colorful canyons and mesas in the southwest, to rolling sage covered hills in the northwest. Recreation areas include National Conservation Lands, Special Recreation Management Areas, rivers, cultural heritage and natural resource attractions, off-highway vehicle areas, scenic byways, watchable wildlife areas, and places to hunt and fish. Recreation opportunities include heritage touring, sightseeing, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, climbing, mountain biking, hiking, OHV driving, fishing, camping, hunting, and skiing. Learn more at www.blm.gov.
The USDA Forest Service is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that cares for 193 million acres of working lands that provide an array of public benefits. The Rocky Mountain Region encompasses over 22 million acres of national forests and grasslands across Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. National forests and grasslands are ALL YOURS to go play, go discover, and go beyond. Visit www.fs.usda.gov/main/r2/home to learn more.