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Colorado bill to cap nonresident draw tag allocation at one-third

Colorado bill to cap nonresident tag allocation at one third

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Thanks to an email I received, I heard about Colorado's Senate Bill 21-150 that was recently introduced on March 1. This bill, "prohibits the division of parks and wildlife from awarding more than one-third of big game hunting licenses to nonresidents in a limited license draw. This prohibition does not apply to leftover licenses." The bill sponsors are Rob Woodward and Leroy Garcia.

Note: As of March 25, this bill's status changed to, "postponed indefinitely" so it most likely won't be going anywhere.

Current Colorado tag allocation:

  • Nonresidents are limited to up to 35% of the total number of tags per hunt code for deer and elk, unless that hunt code has taken six or more preference points to draw
  • If a hunt code has taken more than six preference points to draw, then the nonresident allocation will be limited to 20% of the total number of tags
  • Nonresidents are limited to 10% of the total number of sheep, moose and mountain goat tags
  • There is no nonresident limit on antelope

Senate Bill 21-150 reads:

SECTION 1. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add 33-4-122 as follows:
33-4-122. Big game licensees - reserved requirements for Colorado hunters. WHEN CONDUCTING A LIMITED LICENSE DRAW FOR A BIG GAME LICENSE, THE DIVISION SHALL NOT ISSUE TO NONRESIDENT APPLICANTS MORE THAN ONE-THIRD OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF BIG GAME LICENSES AWARDED IN THE LIMITED LICENSE DRAW. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, AN ACTIVE DUTY MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES WHO IS STATIONED AT A MILITARY FACILITY LOCATED IN COLORADO IS DEEMED A RESIDENT. THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO BIG GAME LICENSES LEFT OVER AFTER THE INITIAL LIMITED LICENSE DRAW AWARDS BIG GAME LICENSES TO APPLICANTS.

Read more about the bill here

Current bill status

Screenshot of Senate bill 21-150 status

Under the Fiscal Notes, it states, "It decreases state revenue on an ongoing basis and increases state expenditures in FY 2021-22 only."

Beginning in FY 2022-23, the bill is estimated to decrease Wildlife Cash Fund revenue in the Department of Natural Resources between $0.3 million and $1.4 million. 

Primary draw revenue reduction

The revenue impact of not selling these licenses in the primary draw is estimated to be $3.4 million per year (at FY 2020-21 license prices); this impact is shown in the table above.

The fiscal note assumes most nonresident demand would remain after the primary draw, and that between 60 and 90 percent of licenses above the threshold would be purchased at a later draw. This range of outcomes is shown in the table below.

Range of total revenue loss of Senate bill 21-150

It seems this bill is currently "postponed indefinitely" as of March 25. But if any more information surfaces, we will provide an update.

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