State Parks And Wildlife Area Local Access Funding
The bill creates the state park and wildlife area access grant program (program), which reimburses local governments for access route maintenance, construction, service, and operational work resulting from people visiting state parks and wildlife areas. The program is administered by the division of parks and wildlife (division) and the parks and wildlife commission (commission). In connection with the program, the bill:
- Using overflow money from the keep Colorado wild pass, helps finance local governments' maintenance and operation of access routes. A local government must use the grant money to support direct access to state parks and wildlife areas. Supporting direct access may include maintaining and constructing local roads, bicycle lanes, or other recreational access routes or providing or facilitating shuttle operations.
- Requires the commission to promulgate rules, in collaboration with and after consultation with affected local governments, to establish the process for local governments to apply for grants, the criteria for awarding grants, and the criteria for determining the amount of grant money to be awarded;
- Creates a grant review committee (committee) to make recommendations to the division; and
- Authorizes a local government to request that the state park or wildlife area charge an additional per vehicle fee, not to exceed $2, to visit. Upon the request, the commission may establish the fee, which will be transferred to the local government to maintain and operate access routes. The fee will be adjusted every 5 years for inflation or deflation.
The grant review committee consists of the following 5 members:
- 3 representatives of local governments from different geographic areas of Colorado, one of whom must be a county commissioner;
- One representative of the commission; and
- One representative of the division.
The members of the committee serve without additional compensation from the state. The committee will review grant applications and make recommendations to the division. The committee is repealed on September 1, 2032, but before the repeal, the department of regulatory agencies will review the committee in accordance with the sunset process.
On or before November 1, 2025, and on or before November 1 of each subsequent year, the division will report about the implementation of the bill to a joint session of the house of representatives agriculture, water, and natural resources committee and the senate agriculture and natural resources committee. The report must include a list of local governments and access projects that received grants and the amount of grant money that each local government and access project received.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)