State Parks, Hunting and Shooting Planning at Colorado Commission Meeting

Colorado is a fantastic place to enjoy the outdoors, be it hunting, fishing, shooting, or enjoy one of the state parks. There are some big items on the table before the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commision. Learn more about the upcoming meeting.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to meet September 6 – 7 in Glenwood Springs

CPW_SiteLogoDENVER – The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will discuss allowing leashed dogs on select trails at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, prohibiting fishing at the ponds within the dog off-leash area at Chatfield State Park, restricting watercraft to vessels propelled by hand on the Chatfield State Park ponds (excluding the main reservoir), removing the boating seasonal closure at Jackson Lake State Park, and defining and allowing incidental commercial use at state parks without a cooperative or special use agreement.

The Commission will also consider proposed regulations concerning the fee structure for the recently created Cameo Shooting and Education Complex, proper display of OHV permits, Colorado Springs Urban Deer Management, Northwest Region Fires Update, and the 2020 – 2024 Big Game Season Structure at its September meeting in Glenwood Springs.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. and adjourn at 5 p.m. on September 6 at Colorado Mountain College’s Morgridge Commons Meeting & Conference Center, 815 Cooper Avenue, in Glenwood Springs.

The September 6 meeting will include a Commission Forum: Envisioning Colorado’s Future State Parks that will be broadcast on Facebook Live from 2 – 5 p.m.

The meeting will reconvene at the same location at 8 a.m. on September 7 and will adjourn at 1 p.m.

Additional agenda items include:

  • Proposed fishing regulations for 2019
  • Continued discussion on application fees, preference points fees, and implementation of the Future Generations Act
  • Harvest limit proposals for the November 2018-March 2019 mountain lion season
  • GOCO Update
  • Financial Update
  • IPAWS Update
  • Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program – Recommended Projects
  • Executive Session

A complete agenda for this meeting can be found on the CPW website.

The commission meets regularly and travels to communities around the state to facilitate public participation. Anyone can listen to commission meetings through the CPW website. This opportunity keeps constituents informed about the development of regulations and how the commission works with Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff to manage the parks, wildlife and outdoor recreation programs administered by the agency. Find out more about the commission on the CPW website.

The next commission meeting will take place November 15 and 16 in Burlington.


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Wildlife Habitat Permanently Protected in Colorado – RMEF

Wildlife Habitat Permanently Protected in Colorado

RMEF logo high resolutionMISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation teamed up with conservation-minded landowners and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to permanently protect 1,742 acres of prime elk and greater sage grouse habitat in northwest Colorado. The project also improves public hunting in a limited draw unit.

“We appreciate landowners who look outside of themselves and recognize the vital importance of protecting their land,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “Protecting this property will maintain its wildlife, agricultural and habitat values while also benefitting nearby public lands.”

The tract is nearly surrounded by public lands. It is also adjacent to the Diamond Breaks Wilderness Study Area and just a few miles away from Dinosaur National Monument and Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge.

“Projects like this protect migration corridors and enhance the connectivity of wildlife habitat. In this particular case, more than 238,000 acres of landscape are now knitted together for the benefit of wildlife and its habitat,” added Henning.

Located in the Pot Creek and Dry Creek watersheds, tributaries of the Green River, the property is key summer and winter range for big game and home to more than 500 elk as well as mule deer and other bird and animal life. It is also core greater sage grouse range and lies within a two-mile radius of leks in both Colorado and Utah, one of which contains more than 60 males.

 

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Though the conservation easement is on private property, the landowner granted a public access easement to CPW allowing public elk hunts every year going forward in the highly limited draw unit of Game Management Unit 1. 

“CPW will manage the hunts and public hunters will be allowed to access the landlocked BLM-administered lands,” said Bill de Vergie, CPW’s area wildlife manager from Meeker. “This is very beneficial for wildlife and our sportsmen and I’m glad to see it happen.”

The landowner previously placed a RMEF conservation easement on a 796-acre plot of adjacent ranch land immediately across the border in Utah.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 222,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.1 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” atwww.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.
Take action: join and/or donate.

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Colorado Elk Herd in the Crosshairs

Colorado Elk Herd in the Crosshairs

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MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is raising a word of warning about a “quiet” movement in Colorado seeking to place wolves on the landscape. It also has grave concerns about the tactics used by environmentalists and animal rights groups behind such efforts.

A representative of a wolf advocacy group, the Turner Endangered Species Fund, recently addressed a gathering of Colorado citizens claiming the placement of wolves on the Colorado landscape is “most germane” to the state’s future, and added “there’s no downside and there’s a real big upside.”

RMEF strongly disputes those claims.

 

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“Wolves have a measureable and oftentimes detrimental impact on big game management wherever they go. Their reintroduction into the Northern Rocky Mountains led to a reduction of the Northern Yellowstone herd by more than 80 percent,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Among other things, wolves also greatly reduced elk numbers to dangerously low levels in central Idaho and have a profound impact on declining moose and deer populations in the Western Great Lakes region.”

 

The Northern Yellowstone Elk herd numbered more than 19,000 before wolf reintroduction in the mid-1990s but dropped below 4,000 in 2012. Increasing grizzly, black bear and mountain lion populations also played a role in the decline. Minnesota’s moose population numbered approximately 8,840 in 2006 but since dropped 55 percent to an estimated 4,020 in 2016.

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“We have also witnessed time and time again that pro-wolf groups seek to ignore agreed upon population recovery goals, thus moving the goals posts, so to speak, by filing obstructionist lawsuits designed to drag out or deny the delisting process altogether and allowing wolf populations to soar well above agreed upon levels,” said Allen. “These groups totally ignore what they themselves agree to once they get wolves on the landscape and they use lawsuits to manipulate the system, ignoring state-based management. And, in many cases the American taxpayers are paying for their legal fees,” Allen added.

Animal rights groups filed at least nine lawsuits regarding wolf populations in the Northern Rockies and at least six others affecting wolves in the Western Great Lakes, as well as several others that have impacted the listing status of wolves across the contiguous 48 states. Currently, two cases are pending in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, affecting listing status in Wyoming and in the Western Great Lake states.

As part of the wolf reintroduction efforts in the mid-1990s, federal and state agencies agreed to delist wolves and place them under state management when the original minimum recovery levels reached 100 wolves each in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Wolves met those delisting standards in 2002 but 2015 minimum populations were nearly 500 percent above that—786 in Idaho, 536 in Montana and 382 in Wyoming. The original population objective for wolves in the Western Great Lakes was 1,350 but at last count the overall minimum population numbered greater than 3,600.

Though well above minimum population levels, federal protections remain in place for wolves in the Western Great Lakes region and Wyoming due to environmental lawsuits.

“An unhealthy and litigious precedent has been set that once pro-wolf groups get a foot in the reintroduction door, they kick it open and file lawsuit after lawsuit to stymy the delisting process while using the wolf as a fundraising tool. Colorado’s elk population will be next in the crosshairs,” cautioned Allen. ”And by the way wolves are nowhere near endangered.”

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 222,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.
Take action: join and/or donate.


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