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Western Public Lands

Colorado Public Lands Day: A Simple, Beautiful Idea

Colorado's public lands contribute billions to the state economy and offer a lifestyle envied around the world. Image: Aaron Kindle

By Aaron Kindle, National Wildlife Federation

The Colorado legislature recently passed Senate Bill 21, which marks the third Saturday in May as Public Lands Day here in Colorado. The bill, the first of its kind in the nation, will help Coloradans and others from around the nation and the world celebrate and give credit to the key factor that makes Colorado so great – public lands!

Whether you are a sportsman and general outdoors lover like me who spends dozens of days each year enjoying the amazing bounty of public lands Colorado has to offer or someone who simply sits in your back yard and admires the view of our famed vistas or someone who travels from the other side of the planet to enjoy our national parks and forests, Colorado’s public lands are simply spectacular and very much worth celebrating.

What a beautiful concept that we who hold these lands dear will simply give thanks for having these magnificent lands to behold, enjoy, and protect for now and forever so that many generations from now, others will be able to enjoy these same treasures.

These lands are the backdrop of our cities, the stage for our most prized adventures, and the settings for our best memories. They also give us clean air, clean water, and provide habitat for the amazing array of wild animals that call our canyons, peaks and valleys home.

We are truly blessed to have these amazing lands right out our doors. It does everybody good to stop and simply acknowledge and admire the gifts that life brings us. Public lands are no different. This year, on May 21st, I urge you to get out into your public lands, stop for a moment and be thankful for the fresh air, the wildlife, and then revel in the fact that these lands are ours, all of ours, to enjoy and cherish. 

Public lands are uniquely American. We are one of the few countries in the world that has wild, open lands owned by the people, for the people. We cannot take this privilege for granted. We must nurture and protect these precious lands. The first step to fulfilling this obligation is acknowledging just how great we have it. The second step is to do something for your public lands. So remember to take some time, perhaps the third Saturday in May, to enjoy and protect your public lands. 

Date: 
Friday, May 13, 2016