Search and Rescue Fund
Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue
Licensed Persons vs. cash-carry seach and rescue - Commentary
on this approach by Scott Silver of Wildwilderness.org
- follows the press release
NEW COLORADO OUTDOOR RECREATION SEARCH AND RESCUE CARD!
The new Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card,
created through the passage of Senate Bill 57, is now available for
purchase. The CORSAR card replaces the Hiking Certificate previously
sold by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and offers the same means
for individuals to participate in the Colorado Search and Rescue Fund.
Participants with hunting licenses, fishing licenses, registrations
for boats, snowmobiles, off-highway vehicles, or the new CORSAR card
are considered licensed persons under Colorado law. There are significant
benefits to becoming a licensed person. First, should a licensed person
become lost or injured during a back country excursion or activity such
as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, cross-country skiing,
etc., any eligible search and/or rescue expenses, incurred by law enforcement
or SAR personnel during a rescue mission will be paid by the Colorado
SAR Fund and not billed to that licensed person. Second, licensed persons
contribute financially to a program providing funding to train and equip
search and rescue volunteers throughout the state.
The cards are available for $3.00 per year and can be purchased through
local vendors or by calling the Department of Local Affairs at (970)
Persons with hunting or fishing licenses or the vehicle registrations
specified above are already covered by the fund and do not need an additional
CORSAR card. Hiking Certificates purchased prior to the new program
will be honored through their expiration date.
Every year thousands of people are lost or injured in Colorado's vast
backcountry. Many are rescued by dedicated volunteers operating under
the direction of Colorado's County Sheriffs. Unfortunately, local budgets
are often inadequate to cover the burden of search and rescue as more
visitors seek the enjoyment and solitude of back country recreation.
Colorado's Search and Rescue Fund provides a means of reimbursing these
costs when search missions are conducted for persons licensed to hunt
or fish or those using registered equipment such as snowmobiles or boats.
The growth in popularity of hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, climbing,
camping and other activities not requiring licenses or registration
means that many users are not vested in the fund.
The CORSAR Card is a means to voluntarily participate in funding the
cost of missions, training, and equipment for search and rescue in Colorado.
For $3 for one year, interested persons can become vested in the fund
by purchasing a card. In the event that person is lost or injured in
the back country, the costs of a rescue mission will be paid by the
CORSAR Cards can be purchased at many local vendors, or by calling
the Department of Local Affairs at (970) 248-7310.
The Fund is administered by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs
with assistance from an eleven member Advisory Board. A report on fund
activity is produced annually.
Licensed Persons vs. cash-carry seach and rescue
Commentary by Scott Silver, Wildwilderness.org
After payment of just a few dollars a year -- hikers, skiers, kayakers,
climbers and other non-motorized outdoor recreationist in Colorado can
now become "licensed persons" and share in all of the benefits
that come with being a "licensed person".
But if you now get lost in Colorado without being a licensed person,
you might think long and hard before using your cell phone to summons
help --- because from now on, you'll end up paying for more that just
So, I wonder, what happens if you've paid your money and having made
your call for help, help doesn't come, or doesn't come within a reasonable
time? Can you sue for breach of contract?
Or what happens if, for whatever reason, you are NOT a licensed person
get lost or hurt? What happens if you have only sufficient money to
pay for the call, but to not enough money pay your rescuers when they
arrive? Will they leave you to die because you didn't purchase your
licensed? Or will they be kind, and allow you to pay on the installment
program if you live, or allow your family to pay if you don't.
Something strikes me a being dreadfully wrong with turning search and
rescue into a cash-carry business. One can only presume that pay-to-play
police protection and fire protection will be next.
Scott Silver, Wildwilderness.org