First Annual Colorado Public Lands Day

Last May, Colorado lead the nation by becoming the first state to establish a holiday that honors the value of public lands within the state. Going forward, Colorado Public Lands Day will be recognized annually on the third Saturday in May as a way to celebrate the significant impact public lands have in Colorado. Senator Kerry Donovan carried the bill, which passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper.

Friends of the Yampa is in full support of continuing protections for our state and federal public lands, and we honor the aesthetic, economic, and ecological contributions that public lands and outdoor recreation have made to Colorado. From a booming and sustainable outdoor recreation economy to wildlife habitat, clean air and water, our public lands give Coloradoans so much. For many of us, this is exactly why we live here.

Some interesting facts from

  • Colorado’s National Parks attract more than 7.5 million visitors each year
  • Colorado’s public lands generate $722 million for our state’s economy
  • There are more than 45,000 jobs in Colorado supported by public lands
  • Colorado has 12 National Park sites and 8 National Monuments
  • Our fine state has 24 million acres of public land…and it’s all yours!!!

Friends of the Yampa is participating in the First Annual Colorado Public Lands Day by hosting a volunteer mission into the Little Yampa Canyon to do campsite surveys on state land along the river. We will locate and verify each campground, inventory amenities and assess weeds, damage, and accessibility. These campgrounds have been established for years but are overgrown and tough to find, and in some cases possibly unusable. We will be working with the Little Snake Office of the BLM and Yampa River State Parks in a coordinated effort to revitalize these campsites for future use. What does this mean for you? Multi-day family friendly river trips, right in our backyard! Why go all the way to Ruby/Horsethief Canyons for your easy early season float (well…ok, it’s beautiful, accessible, and HOT when we want to thaw out here in Steamboat. Ruby is awesome.) when you can head just downstream and hop on a river that has been deemed suitable for Wild and Scenic River status?

If you would like to take part in the effort and come help out in the Little Yampa Canyon May 19th and 20th, please contact us

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