Colorado Passes Backcountry Search and Rescue Bill
Colorado recently passed Senate Bill 168, which is a significant first step to improve funding and develop a more sustainable search and rescue system. Ongoing negotiations will determine exactly what the system will look like, but Colorado is moving in a positive direction to assist the more than 50 search and rescue teams across the state.
The new law, which took effect on Jan. 1, officially transferred duties, powers, and functions related to backcountry search and rescue from the Department of Local Affairs to the Division of Parks and Wildlife. The new law also will provide volunteers responding to emergencies with immunity from civil lawsuits, potentially provide compensation insurance to workers injured while responding to emergencies or during training, and offer increased financial support and potentially a larger budget.