For almost a century and a half now, the federal government has owed a huge debt to the state of Colorado. When Colorado first became a state back in 1876, it was scheduled to receive about 4 million acres to set up shop. However, a Native American tribe called the Utes were still living on a sliver of land on the Western side of the state, so the government shorted Colorado about 9,900 acres. They’ve been trying to figure out a way to pay the land back ever since.
Over the course of the last eight years or so, the Bureau of Land Management and the Colorado State Land Board have been hammering out the details of a potential deal. It would call for the BLM to transfer almost 18,000 acres of federal land as well as about 6,000 acres of mineral estate to Colorado. These acres would stretch across more than a dozen counties in Colorado, including Bent, Dolores, El Paso, Grand, Park, and Weld counties. And in theory, it sounds like it would be a great deal for Colorado.
How It Could Affect Colorado Hunters
Unfortunately however, it could be terrible news for hunters, fishermen, and others who spend time in the great outdoors in certain parts of Colorado. That’s because, according to a report released by a mapping company called OnX, the deal would make it impossible for many people to get access to federal land that is currently used for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. It has the potential to cause an uproar in the hunting and fishing communities.
The good news is that organizations like Backcountry Hunters and Anglers have stepped in and are planning to talk to the Colorado State Land Board about protecting the access that hunters and fishermen currently have to different parcels of land. But for now, all anyone can do is wait and see what happens with the proposed deal. The hope is that it’ll be finalized by the time next summer rolls around, but there is still a lot of work to be done between now and then.
At Samuelson Outfitters, we’ll keep a close eye on this deal to see how it could affect hunters in the future. We’ll also continue to offer the best deer and elk hunting excursions in Colorado to those who want to go on them. Call us at 970-726-8221 to reserve a hunt.