Hunters, anglers and users of state parks and campgrounds can expect to pay more for those activities next year after the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission used its authority under a new law to raise license and other fees this week.
The changes include $8 increases for deer, elk, bear, pronghorn, mountain lion and small-game hunting licenses for Colorado residents.
Resident deer licenses will now cost $38, resident elk licenses will cost $53, and resident small-game licenses will be $28.
Big-game license fees for nonresidents won't change next year. Both resident and nonresident license fees will be considered for adjustment based on inflation beginning in 2020.
Resident fishing licenses also will increase $8, to $33. A new, $8 resident license will be available to 16- and 17-year-olds, rather than their having to pay the full price.
And fishing licenses for those 65 and over will no longer be free, instead costing $8, a move that lets Parks and Wildlife collect federal matching funds.
The changes come as a result of a bill signed into law in May that gives the parks and wildlife commission authority to approve fee changes for licenses and park fees within certain limits.
The agency has been facing budget problems as its costs have risen over the years, but some fees haven't kept pace. Colorado's resident elk license has cost $45 since 2006, whereas its out-of-state elk license rises with inflation.
Parks and Wildlife has said that its outreach with hunters and anglers indicated support for measures such as linking resident hunting and fishing fees to inflation and charging seniors for fishing licenses.
Among other changes the commission approved this week:
■ The cost of an annual park pass will increase to $80 for a fixed vehicle pass, up from $70. The annual pass for those 64 and over will be $70, up from $60.
The daily vehicle pass will increase $1, to $8 for most parks. The daily individual pass for people not in vehicles will be $4, up a dollar.
■ Under a pilot program based on public interest, a new $120 hangtag annual park pass program is being introduced that involves a pass that is issued to an individual for use in any vehicle, rather than having to be affixed to the windshield of a vehicle.
■ Camping fees are being changed for the first time since 2015.
Increases vary by category; as one example, a basic campground fee will go up from $18 to $20 a night depending on the park, to $22 to $28.
Cabin and yurt fees will increase $10, ranging next year from $90 to $250 a night.
Park managers can discount camping fees annually, with modifications having to be made by March 1 of a given year.
Also next year, those wanting to apply for a big-game license will have to buy a qualifying hunting license, which can be a small-game, spring turkey or small game/fishing combination license.
Also, preference points fees ($50 for residents and $100 for nonresidents) will be charged for sheep, moose and goat license applicants.
This week's action by the commission includes other fee changes as well. More information on all the changes may be found at cpw.state.co.us.