“Keep Colorado Wild” Pass and Free State Park Access for Purple Heart Recipients Go Into Effect

DENVER, CO–  Two laws passed last session to make it easier for Coloradans to access state parks and recreation areas go into effect today.  

SB21-249, sponsored by Representatives Kerry Tipper and Perry Will, creates a discounted Keep Colorado Wild Pass to increase access to and funding for Colorado’s state parks and public lands. HB21-1116, sponsored by Representatives David Ortiz and Richard Holtorf, allows Colorado veterans with purple heart license plates and their passengers free entry to state parks and recreation areas. 

“The ‘Keep Colorado Pass’ will make it easier for people to enjoy some of the most incredible state parks and public lands in the country,” said Rep. Kerry Tipper, D-Lakewood. “Starting soon, Colorado drivers will have access to cheaper park passes that will help us ensure our parks have the resources they need to flourish, protect visitors and remain open for all to enjoy.”

SB21-249, also sponsored by Rep. Perry Will, R-New Castle, creates the Keep Colorado Wild Pass, a discounted state park pass which can be paid for at the time a vehicle is registered or during the registration renewal process. The pass grants entry into state parks and other public lands and the revenue collected from the pass will go toward investments in our public lands and state parks, which have taken a toll from a surge in outdoor recreation during the COVID pandemic. 

Also going into effect today is a bill to expand access to our state parks for veterans who have received the Purple Heart medal, sponsored by Rep. David Ortiz. 

“Colorado’s spectacular state parks offer tremendous benefits and recreation opportunities for Purple Heart recipients and disabled veterans,” said Rep. David Ortiz, D-Littleton. “While we can never repay the debt we owe to all of our nation’s Purple Heart recipients, this small token of gratitude honors our veterans and ensures that cost will never be a barrier for them to access and enjoy our state parks.” 

HB21-1116, a bipartisan bill sponsored by combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient Representative David Ortiz and Representative Richard Holtorf, would allow veterans displaying a Purple Heart special license plate to access any state park or recreation area free of charge. Any Purple Heart recipient who is a resident of Colorado could also obtain a free state parks pass from a Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) office.

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