Colorado ranks first in Western states scorecard on outdoor recreation, responsible drilling, public-lands access

Colorado ranks first in Western states scorecard on outdoor recreation, responsible drilling, public-lands access

October 20, 2017 by Jennifer

SHARED FROM THE DENVER POST:

Colorado ranks first among eight Western states for access to public lands, responsible energy development and outdoor recreation in a scorecard released Tuesday by the Center for Western Priorities.

The Denver-based nonprofit conservation and advocacy group’s Conservation Scorecard ranks Colorado at the top among Intermountain West states when it comes to protecting and enhancing public lands.

Scored in 14 benchmarks, Colorado tops Montana, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Idaho according to the center’s grading rubrics for policies governing outdoor recreation, energy development and access to public lands.

Jennifer Rokala, the center’s executive director, said state policies surrounding conservation are “a different story” than the national narrative, where the Trump administration is promoting more aggressive energy development on public lands and is mulling a resizing some national monuments.

“Westerners understand that public lands are at the heart and soul of what makes living in the Western states so special,” Rokala said, noting her group’s hope that the scorecard “provides a roadmap” for lawmakers seeking to promote conservation in the West.

Colorado scored highest in both outdoor recreation and energy development. The state’s prioritization of outdoor recreation ranks it alone at the top of the scorecard, with dedicated funding for conservation and recreation infrastructure through the lottery-funded Great Outdoors Colorado, establishment of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office and funding for outdoor education focused on getting kids outdoors. Utah was the first in the nation with an outdoor recreation office, and Montana this fall established an office to promote the state’s outdoor recreation economy.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/10/17/colorado-ranks-first-outdoor-recre…

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