As a founding member of the Fix CRUS Coalition, The Next Summit has been at the forefront of a pivotal movement to reform Colorado’s recreational use statute. Comprising 43 diverse organizations, our coalition is dedicated to enhancing landowner liability protections. This initiative is not just about legal reform; it’s a heartfelt effort to ensure the public continues to enjoy free access to Colorado’s stunning natural landscapes, including its renowned fourteeners, trails, hunting lands, and climbing areas.
Here is an update on our progress and our plans for the next five months.
The coalition’s journey has reached a critical phase. After extensive deliberation and collaborative efforts involving our executive committee, state legislators, and legislative support staff, we’re deep into the bill drafting process. Our goal? To strike a balance that benefits landowners, the outdoor recreation community, and the legal framework represented by the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association.
Bi-Partisan Legislative Support
With the 2024 legislative session on the horizon, our efforts are intensifying. Senator Mark Baisley (R) and Representative Shannon Bird (D) are set to introduce our meticulously crafted bill, symbolizing a bipartisan approach that’s essential in today’s political climate. Our first hurdle is a 3/5 vote in the initial committee hearing, followed by securing a majority in both legislative chambers. Governor Polis has shown a willingness to support this legislation, bringing a ray of hope for its enactment.
However, challenges remain. Reaching a consensus with the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association that addresses both landowner concerns and public safety is a delicate balancing act. Additionally, capturing legislative attention in a crowded arena of competing interests and maintaining momentum to secure the necessary votes are critical steps ahead.
How the Community Can Help
Grassroots Support: The Backbone of Our Effort
The Colorado outdoor recreation community’s support is the lifeblood of this campaign. Here’s how you can contribute:
Legislative Advocacy: Contact your legislator to discuss this issue, laying the groundwork for the legislative session. Use the Access Fund’s action alert as a starting point (Access Fund Action Alert).
Join the Coalition: Sign up for updates and join the movement at Fix CRUS.
Petition for Change: Sign and share our Change.org petition to amplify our voice (Change.org Petition).
Fuel the Campaign: Every donation helps fuel our advocacy efforts. Contribute at Fix CRUS Donate.
Raise Awareness: Write letters to editors, urge organizations to endorse our coalition, meet with legislators, and use your social channels to spread the word.
A Call to Action
In closing, we extend our heartfelt thanks for your unwavering support. The journey to safeguard public access to Colorado’s iconic peaks like Mt Lincoln and Mt Lindsey is a collective effort. Each action, each voice, contributes to the larger goal of preserving our state’s natural heritage for generations to come.
Stay tuned for more updates, and remember, together, we can make a difference.