For those of us who love to camp, hunt, and fish, doing so is about to get a little more expensive.

Colorado House Bill 17-1321 calls for a raise in rates for park fees, hunting licenses and fishing licenses of up to 50%.

The need for this increase is based on the increasing number of tourists who flock to our state to hunt, fish and visit our parks and the inability, under the current fee structure, to address the issues that result from increased usage of lakes, streams national parks and wildlife areas.

As it currently stands, residents are charged $34.00 for a deer hunting license. With a 50% increase, a resident could pay $51.00 for that same license. Nonresidents previously paid $389.00 for the right to hunt deer in our state. This could increase to $583.50. Park fees could see a 50% jump, meaning the cost to camp or visit our parks could increase as well.

While I see the need to keep our parks clean, and I understand there are more people every year coming into our state. My question is why pass this along to residents at all? We live here year 'round, pay taxes year 'round and as residents, we are usually quite adept at keeping the areas we use clean and free of debris.

Why should we, the residents of this beautiful state, see an increase at all? If the goal is to keep locals from doing the things we love to do, raising our rates is the perfect way to do so.

Why not leave the fees for residents as-is, and add that increase to the charge for nonresidents?

It seems to me that increasing our usage fees at all is penalizing those of us who love our state and love to enjoy all it has to offer, but not at the thought of going broke to do it.

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