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Aron Bosworth | 05.17.2018

Last year we co-authored a piece with Conservation Colorado about Colorado Public Lands Day – a holiday unique to the Centennial State – explaining the holiday, how it came to be, and why it matters. In that piece we suggested 10 unique adventures for you and your friends to explore as you enjoyed the holiday. We're here a year later getting ready to celebrate the 2nd annual Colorado Public Lands Day. This year, in addition to encouraging you to get out and get after it, we want to encourage you to take action along the way to protect where you play!

It’s true: Colorado was the first state in the nation to pass a bipartisan bill designating a day (the third Saturday in May) as its official state Public Lands Day. Of course, the holiday does bring attention to the value of our public lands. And yeah, the holiday recognizes “significant contributions that national, state and local public lands within Colorado make to wildlife, recreation, the economy and to Coloradans quality of life.” But in spite of Colorado’s commitment to public lands, the onslaught of attacks on public lands by President Trump and his administration has rolled on for far too long. From shrinking our national monuments to streamlining environmental review processes in favor of the oil and gas industry, our public lands are increasingly under threat.

And yet Colorado continues to forge ahead in fighting for its public lands. As an example, last summer the Outdoor Retailer Show, a trade show for the outdoor industry, packed up and left Utah in protest over the state's anti-public lands politics. Outdoor Retailer found a new home in Colorado, where the state government's feelings toward public lands couldn’t be more different. And Colorado Public Lands Day played a crucial role in the show’s final decision to move to Colorado. To further honor Colorado's commitment to public lands, Colorado’s legislature passed a resolution welcoming the Outdoor Retailer show to Colorado when it arrived this past January for the first time in Denver.

Coloradans will again honor the state's public lands heritage by celebrating Colorado Public Lands Day with over 50 events planned around the state. What better way to celebrate Colorado's public lands this Saturday than lacing up your boots and getting outside to explore some of these magnificent places? In honor of Colorado's Public Lands Day, we’ve pulled together a list of 10 eclectic Colorado adventures and a number of easy actions that you can take to help protect where you play.

Please join Conservation Colorado, Outdoor Project, and our fellow Coloradans in protecting where you play and getting outside to celebrate our public lands on May 19, 2018!

Conservation Colorado is also hosting events around the state during the week of Colorado Public Lands Day, so come out and celebrate!

Montbello - Montbello Civic Center Park - May 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - On Saturday, May 19, Protégete will celebrate Colorado Public Lands Day and host a resources fair in Montbello. The day will consist of activities that relate to the outdoors and educate the public on where they can access national and urban parks. This celebration will empower all residents to be part of the movement that protects our state resources and wilderness. There will be informative resources, good food, and fun activities!

Durango - Powerhouse Science Center - May 19 from 6:00 to 10 p.m. - Come celebrate Colorado Public Lands Day with live music, food, local beer, and lots of dancing! FREE! This will be the biggest party celebrating public lands in southwest Colorado. Come enjoy live music, dancing, food, local brews, and participate in the public lands photo contest! Come see live music from: StillHouse Junkies (6:00-7:15 p.m.) La La Bones (7:15-8:30 p.m.) Carute Roma (8:30-10:00 p.m.) ...and bring your dancin' shoes!

Grand Junction - 4th and Main St. - May 19 from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. - Join us at the main stage of the Off-Road & Four Peaks Downtown Music Festival to hear Luis Benitez, director of the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation and Industry, speak on the importance of public lands for our state. We will also be raffling off some giveaway items from different retailers in the area.

We hope you are able to get to help protect where you play this Saturday. And if you are looking for ideas on where to get out and experience some of Colorado's iconic public lands, consider visiting one of these incredible locations around the state:

  1. San Juan Mountains: Explore Cunningham Gulch
  2. Grand Mesa: Mountain bike the Lunch Loops
  3. Uncompahgre Plateau: Mountain bike 18 Road
  4. Park Range Area: Strawberry Hot Springs
  5. Central Front Range: Ski St. Mary's Glacier
  6. Gore and Mosquito Range: Quandary Peak Hike, East Ridge
  7. Denver Metro Area: Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat
  8. Denver Metro Area: Mount Sanitas Trail
  9. Sawatch and Elk Mountains: Kebler Pass Scenic Road
  10. Northern Sangre de Cristo Mountains: Zapata Falls


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Conservation Colorado has worked with communities around the state for over 50 years in pursuit of our mission - to protect Colorado’s environment and quality of life by mobilizing people and electing conservation-minded policymakers. We fight to protect the air, land, water, and people of Colorado. Our collaborative approach and focus on electing pro-conservation officials has yielded successes in addressing climate change, supporting clean energy development, conserving water resources, and protecting our public wildlands and rivers. These priority issues, and the incredible natural resources of our state, inspire our motto - The Future is Worth the Fight.

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