Colorado’s iconic mountain ranges, farms and ranchlands, parks, rivers and open spaces are an undeniable part of our shared identity as Coloradans. We live in a state where three in four residents consider themselves conservationists, and 87% understand that Colorado’s open lands and outdoor lifestyle give the state an economic advantage.
The most lauded success happened on May 1, when Governor Hickenlooper signed into law a measure ensuring that Colorado lottery proceeds will continue to be a steady source of revenue for conservation and outdoor recreation through at least 2049. This measure extends and affirms the will of Colorado voters, who in 1992 passed a constitutional amendment that created Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), an independent body that annually receives up to half of all lottery proceeds.
Over the past 25 years, GOCO has been the single most important tool for advancing conservation in Colorado. It has funded more than 5,000 projects – including dozens of school playgrounds, over 900 miles of trails, and more than 1,600 parks and outdoor recreation areas – benefitting all 64 Colorado counties, and permanently protecting more than 1 million acres of open space.