Udall’s bill has backers

September 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Trail Boss News

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., took the occasion Saturday of National Hunting and Fishing Day to bring emphasis to federal legislation creating new shooting ranges and properly managing existing ones.

Senate Bill 1702 actually was introduced on Thursday as a joint initiative with Sen. James E. Risch, R-Idaho. But Udall’s 1:20 p.m. press conference at the outdoor education spectacular at the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s education building, 6060 Broadway, earned extra attention as a follow-up to the Colorado senator’s similar, yet unsuccessful measure proposed a year ago.

The 2008 bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate but never got a hearing. Now, with the support of such diverse organizations as the National Rifle Association, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Firearms Coalition, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Congressional Sportsmen Foundation, Udall sees smoother sailing this time around.

He hopes the bill will encourage federal land agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain ranges on federal land.

“I’ll continue to build bipartisan support for this bill,” Udall said. “Hopefully, we can obtain a hearing and get things moving. By creating safe public shooting facilities, we can offer better opportunity for sportsmen and gun owners.”

Udall said there is no specific timetable for the introduction.

Rate increases.

The Colorado State Parks Board has voted to increase fees by $2 and boating registration to $25, a hike of up to $10. Daily and annual entrance fees will remain the same. Fee increases go into effect Jan. 1.

The parks agency is facing a $3 million budget shortfall and plans to use these increased user fees to fund operations.

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