How to Write to Tell Your Legislators to Strengthen the CRUS

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The Colorado Recreational Use Statute (CRUS) is a crucial piece of legislation that protects private landowners who allow free recreational use of their property. However, recent court interpretations have made it necessary to strengthen the CRUS to better protect landowners and ensure continued access to private lands for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Contacting your legislator is a small, but powerful way to get this issue on the agenda and raise awareness. This guide will walk you through the process of writing to your legislator to advocate for strengthening the CRUS, and provide you with a short template email.

Step 1: Locate Your Legislator

Before you can write to your legislator, you need to know who they are. To locate your Colorado State Senator and Representative, use the following resources:

Simply enter your address in the search bar on the “Find My Legislator” page, and the website will provide you with the contact information for your state senator and representative.

Step 2: Draft Your Email

Now that you have the contact information for your legislator, it’s time to draft your email. Use the following template as a starting point and customize it to make it personal:

Subject: Strengthening the Colorado Recreational Use Statute

Dear [Senator/Representative’s Name],

I am a resident of [Your City or Town], and I am writing to express my support for strengthening the Colorado Recreational Use Statute (CRUS) to better protect recreation on private lands.

Outdoor recreation is an essential part of Colorado’s culture and economy, and privately owned land plays a significant role in providing recreational opportunities. The current version of the CRUS leaves private landowners vulnerable to liability for injuries occurring on their property during recreational activities. This has led to a chilling effect on landowners, with some closing access to their lands due to liability concerns.

I believe that a balance must be struck between landowner and recreational user interests. Strengthening the CRUS will not force private landowners to allow access, but it will provide them with greater assurance against legal and financial risks. This will ultimately benefit Colorado residents and visitors who enjoy our state’s vast outdoor recreational opportunities.

I urge you to support legislation that strengthens the CRUS, ensuring continued access to private lands for recreational purposes and bolstering our state’s outdoor culture and economy.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Sincerely,

[Your Full Name]

Step 3: Send Your Email

Once you have drafted your email, simply copy and paste it into your email client, and send it to your state senator, representative, and Governor Jared Polis. If you want them to send you a reply, make sure you note that in your message.

Step 4: Spread the Word

Don’t stop with just one email. Encourage your friends, family, and fellow outdoor enthusiasts to write their legislators as well. Share this guide with them to help them through the process.

By taking these steps, you can make a difference in the fight to strengthen the CRUS and ensure continued access to private lands for recreation in Colorado.

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This guide will walk you through the process of writing to your legislator to advocate for strengthening the CRUS to protect access to private land for outdoor recreation.

Picture of Alex Derr, The Next Summit

Alex Derr, The Next Summit

Alex is the founder of The Next Summit: A Mountain Blog For All. He is also a CMC Volunteer and a member of the Fix CRUS Coalition Executive Committee. As a lifelong hiker and avid 14er enthusiast, he is dedicated to restoring public access to Mount Lindsey, the Decalibron peaks, and other hiking trails and outdoor recreation land across Colorado.

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One Response

  1. How does the legislation apply to winter recreation use, when trails are covered with snow, hazards and warning signs are potentially hidden by snow? As ski touring and snowmobiling increase in popularity, it is worth considering how to revise the statute to cover winter conditions. Thanks for your work!

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