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Maura Bennett National Public Lands Day
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: September 21, 2018

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Saturday is National Public Lands Day. The annual recognition and appreciation for the 640 million acres of lands held in trust for the American people by the federal government.

National parks across the U S are waiving admission fees on Saturday.

So you can get into parks like the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and Colorado National Monument free of charge. Colorado state parks will still be charging admission.

Quintaniay Holifield of the U.S. Forest Service says there are school groups, civic groups and non-profits whose members will spend the day helping to preserve lands, trails and plantlife.

Nearly 68 percent of Colorado’s forests are in federal ownership; the primary land manager is the U.S. Forest Service with 47 percent or 11.3 million acres. Nearly three-quarters of the state’s high-elevation species such as spruce-fir, lodgepole pine and aspen are located on USFS lands. The Bureau of Land Management oversees an additional 17 percent or 4.2 million acres, primarily in the state’s lower elevation piñon-juniper and oak shrubland forests. The National Park Service has responsibility for 380,925 acres or 2 percent of Colorado’s forests; the majority of these lands are within the borders of Rocky Mountain National Park.

National Public Lands Day, now in its 25th year, also coincides with National Hunting and Fishing Day.

There are four fee-free days at national parks every year. The next one is on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

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