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The Economic Benefits of Great Outdoors Colorado and the Conservation Trust Fund

by Bergen Tjossem

GOCO helps fund EVLT’s efforts to protect forever the lands we love, to preserve our heritage, scenic beauty, recreational opportunities, and wildlife habitats, and to build a permanent legacy for future generations.
A new study confirms that the statewide lottery provides incredible benefits to Colorado residents. The profit that the Colorado Lottery generates is distributed to three organizations: Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the Conservation Trust Fund (CTF), and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), all of which grant funding to smaller organizations like the Eagle Valley Land Trust. The new report, completed by the Trust for Public Land, found that this funding stream has shown profound success in not only protecting and enhancing the state’s parks, trails, rivers, wildlife, recreation amenities, and open spaces, but also promoting economic development, tourism, ranching, farming, and leveraging outside funding.
Here are some quick facts from the report:
  • Over the last 10 years, GOCO and CTF investments provided $507 million in labor income, supporting 11,800 jobs (every $1 million invested by CTF and GOCO supported over 17 jobs).
  • CTF and GOCO investments helped generate $392 million in resident spending on sporting goods each year, which supports 1,510 Colorado businesses (14,800 employees), which produce $4.3 billion in sales.
  • By supporting Colorado’s scenic beauty and outdoor recreation, GOCO and CTF helped bring visitors to the state to visit the outdoors who spent $1.21 billion annually (which generated over $100 million in tax revenue).
  • GOCO supports Colorado’s ranching and agriculture by keeping working lands active and open (GOCO funds EVLT’s work to help ranchers conserve their land in Eagle County). Colorado’s ranches and farms generate $8.58 billion in products.
  • 90% of Colorado residents enjoy the state’s outdoor recreation opportunities. GOCO helps provide recreation opportunities to Colorado residents, which translates to $399 million in benefits.


Source: The Trust for Public Land (

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