Everything You Need to Know About Colorado Public Lands Day
Kelty May 2, 2017

What is Colorado Public Lands Day?

In 2016, Colorado became the first state in the nation to establish a holiday dedicated to our public lands. Every year, starting with 2017, the 3rd Saturday in May will be set aside as Colorado Public Lands Day.

Photo: Bob Wick
Photo: Bob Wick


Why is CO PLD historic/significant?

Colorado boasts over 24 million acres of public lands – national forest, wildlife refuges, parks, and wilderness areas made up of surging rivers, soaring mountains, vast grasslands, dense forests, and red rock canyons. These lands support Colorado’s economy – including a $13.2 billion outdoor recreation industry, as well as ranching and many other uses. And they sustain the Colorado culture and quality of life.

Coloradans recognize how much our public lands give us, and polls suggest as many as 96% of our state has visited public lands within the last year. A majority of Coloradans, across political divisions, support maintaining funding for and protections of our public lands.

Despite the vast, diverse love of these wild places, our public lands are increasingly under attack. Numerous attempts have been made and are underway, both in the state legislature and in Congress, to seize national public lands and hand them to the states or private interests.

Establishing and celebrating Colorado Public Lands Day demonstrates that Coloradans oppose these efforts and firmly believe in the value of our public lands. It is an annual opportunity for Coloradans to come together and recognize all that these places provide to our communities and our economy. In this first year of celebrations, now is the time to set the tone for the holiday moving forward.


Cross Mountain Canyon WSA - BLM Photo by Bob Wick (3)
Photo: Bob Wick


How can people celebrate PLD?

There are many ways you can get involved in celebrating Colorado Public Lands Day. Join an organized event on the Colorado Public Lands website or on Facebook – help clean up your park or river, be a steward of your backyard playground, or simply go for a hike with other outdoor enthusiasts. Share your photos on social media with #COPublicLandsDay and #KeepItPublic. Gather your friends and go for your own outdoor adventure – picnic at the park, walk along the creek, bike your local path, or go for an epic climb in the mountains. Here are some other creative ways to celebrate the holiday:

  • Encourage your community or city to organize free outdoor activities
  • Create a photo contest with your friends or at work
  • Mountain and road biking events
  • Take a guided class on a new activity you’ve been meaning to try
  • Host a happy hour with your friends or colleagues and tag #COPublicLandsDay
  • Host a film screening or live music
  • Put on a Moth-style storytelling event about our public lands


Processed with Snapseed.
Photo: Micha Rosenoer


Why does this matter to Kelty?

Public lands are the fundamental infrastructure that sustains outdoor recreation. Whether it’s through hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, or trail running, our customers depend on public lands to get outside and connect with wild places.

Colorado is home to over 24 million acres of national public lands – these are our national forests, our wildlife refuges, our national parks, and our national wilderness areas. These are the spaces we seek out for adventures in nature. These are the hills we run for.

Protecting and celebrating these places means protecting our way of life. It means celebrating the inspiration we receive when we walk outside our urban and suburban lives and take that first step on a soft path leading us into the unknown.


Photo: John Sztukowski
Photo: John Sztukowski


The Bottom Line

These lands enable our customers to experience what “Kelty Built” is all about. Our business plan doesn’t end around the next bend in the trail. We’re in it for the long haul. The Kelty team will be out of the office on May 19 partnering with Wildlands Restoration Volunteers on a trail clean up and eradication project in Boulder Canyon.