CPW Sportspersons Roundtable Meeting 7/22/23

elkduds

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This is my last meeting summary as state appointed member of the Roundtable. My appointment ended after 4 years, appointees are term limited to 2 two year terms. FYI, representatives elected by the 4 regional caucuses are not term-limited. Today I will summarize my notes from the meeting in Breckenridge. When CPW posts its official summary of the meeting, I'll post that link as well.

Chief of CO Dept. of Natural Resources Dan Gibbs attended, spoke and took questions about Outdoor Regional Partnerships. He said rather than these groups diluting hunter/angler influence, they are designed to increase emphasis on wildlife habitat in land use planning. Fielding questions and criticisms about qualifications and ideologies of 3 new appointees to CPW Board of Commissioners, Gibbs defended each and encouraged anyone w concerns to contact that Commissioner. He confirmed that all appointees are interim status until the state Senate confirmation process, which happens sometime between Jan. and April 2024 when state legislature convenes its next term. FYI, senators may refuse to confirm Commission appointees then, depending on input from their constituents. Gibbs introduced new CPW Director and hero of the Confederacy, Jeff Davis.

Davis introduced self professionally, expressed gratitude about being selected to lead "the best state wildlife agency in the country." "We're not moving away from the North American model, we're shifting to mutualistic management." RT members questioned Davis' outdoor bon fides, he is an archery hunter and angler, now learning fly fishing. He was able to retain his predecessor, interim Director Heather Disney Dugan, in a newly-created Assistant Director position.

Reid Dewalt's Wolf Reintro update: Commission approved reintroduction plan unanimously. ID and MT formally and flatly refused to supply wolves for reintro, despite direct letters to each from Director Davis (not mentioned in meeting, WY is also refusing to provide wolves for formal reintroduction). WA and OR have agreed in principle to supply wolves. Funds for wolf reintro enabled the current and most robust study of elk survival and use of habitat in CO's history. Study cohorts, each including 80 collared cows, are underway in Bear's Ears, Middle Park, South Park and the Gunnison Basin, not coincidentally the areas of expected wolf impact on elk herds. CPW's wolf pack has been busy trying to convince wildlife agencies in NM, AZ and UT that CO's wolves will not contact endangered Mexican wolves in those states. That concern among others makes it more likely that 10J rule management allowing lethal means will be approved for CO. DeWalt expressed full confidence 10J will be in place for CO wolf reintro. Wolf questions can always be directed to Reid DeWalt or Corey Lewandowski @ CPW.

BGSS hunter survey redux: Surveying continued with online and focus group sessions. With each round of surveys, the options narrow. Emerging trends in the public survey process include support for 2 separated pronghorn seasons on public lands, and limiting to residents or eliminating OTC elk licenses. Robust discussion around the state statute that among all totally limited licenses, 20% must be issued as Private Land Only. Staff reported PLO tags are issued about 50-50 to residents and NRs. Current season calendar has about 50% support, more than any of the alternatives on the survey. RT members criticized the current MSG license draw structure, noting that Many years of applying does not guarantee drawing a tag. Staff replied that the current system does offer incremental improvement in odds of being drawn, the benefit of which is diluted by the large increase in applicants for these licenses annually. A delegate shared a survey conducted by Colorado Bowhunters Assoc, which supported continuing OTC archery elk licenses.

There is a CPW working group currently considering all the above issues along with preference points, weighted draw options and other revisions to the draw process. This group may still have 2 volunteer vacancies. The group process including timeline for 3-5 formal recommendations to the Commission is detailed here:

CPW may still be seeking 2 volunteers to serve as Southeast region appointed Roundtable representatives.

From 4 years as RT delegate, these topics stand out:
  • CPW staff are professional and approachable. By and large they are outdoor sportspeople who care deeply about wildlife and habitat. They do their jobs as directed by the Commission, statutes, legislature and Governor's office, not necessarily in that order. I see wildlife and habitat management as far more politicized than it has been.
  • There are local, state and national/international organizations advocating for their own agendas, with wildlife and CPW in the crosshairs. Prior to the ballot initiative ordering wolf reintroduction, the Commission was on record opposing it @ least twice. Since it is law CPW can no longer oppose it.
  • While most resource managers and scientists claim to oppose wildlife management by ballot box, it is and will continue to be an increasing factor, almost entirely to the detriment of hunters, trappers and anglers, because
  • Sportsmen and women have not politically organized sufficiently to counter antihunting pressures from the Humane Society, Friends of the Earth, PETA, and other professionally organized and well-funded antihunting groups.​
We had a good chance to defeat wolf reintroduction in a Colorado election, missed it by that much. Since then I have not seen any effective efforts to build coalitions to defend hunting and the North American mode, at least in Coloradol. Instead, I see blaming along political party lines, expressions of hopelessness, infighting among groups with common interests, and most of all a pervasive resistance among sportspeople to get involved in the politics of protecting access, wildlife and hunting.

1690929208855.png
 
Sportsmen and women have not politically organized sufficiently to counter antihunting pressures from the Humane Society, Friends of the Earth, PETA, and other professionally organized and well-funded antihunting groups.
Bingo. We have dozens of different groups but no unified message. Ironic, because it is literally our dollars funding a lot of this stuff.

Thank you for your service.
 
I appreciate the update, and your willingness to volunteer your time to the Roundtable. I was one of the initial statewide appointees when the Roundtable was created in 2013, and was one of half in the group to be appointed to a 3 year term. Finished 5 years on the Roundtable in 2018. It's a lot of time and work if you participate, so thank you.

I want to clarify a couple of things you mentioned, or at least clarify them for myself.

and limiting to residents or eliminating OTC elk licenses. Robust discussion around the state statute that among all totally limited licenses, 20% must be issued as Private Land Only. Staff reported PLO tags are issued about 50-50 to residents and NRs. Current season calendar has about 50% support, more than any of the alternatives on the survey.

I think you mean LPP rather than PLO here. It's an important distinction. I would note a couple of things about LPP concerns as well. Disclaimer: I have always been a vocal (to a fault) opponent of the LPP. The fact is, a vast majority of the 20% (10% unitwide and 10% PLO) of licenses in totally limited units that are set aside for LPP end up back in the public draw due to low demand. LPP IS taking the cream of the crop, though. But with the new NR allocation of 75/25 for limited licenses, I wonder just how much residents would feel a pinch by going totally limited on elk, even with an LPP cut? I'm not convinced it would change the availability of licenses for residents if they applied in the initial draw (even 2nd-4th choice).

RT members criticized the current MSG license draw structure, noting that Many years of applying does not guarantee drawing a tag.

There's not a system out there that is going to guarantee every applicant a tag in their lifetime if they diligently apply. That's just a silly comment.

We had a good chance to defeat wolf reintroduction in a Colorado election, missed it by that much. Since then I have not seen any effective efforts to build coalitions to defend hunting and the North American mode, at least in Colorado. Instead, I see blaming along political party lines, expressions of hopelessness, infighting among groups with common interests, and most of all a pervasive resistance among sportspeople to get involved in the politics of protecting access, wildlife and hunting.

This is true to some extent, but there is a coalition of hunting organizations that coalesced around the proposed mountain lion hunting ban in 2022. The Colorado Wildlife Conservation Project meets weekly during the legislative session and every other week the rest of the year. They coordinate testimony on proposed legislation, outreach to state legislators and CPW Commissioners, comments on federal proposed actions and state management issues, responses to bad press, etc.

Hunters could do a whole lot better organizing, but we are too divided among our species or issue-centric missions.
 
Thank you for the excellent roll-up and your service on the roundtable. I share your sentiment regarding hunters in politics, but I am optimistic that the CWCP could help change that here in Colorado.
 
Great write up of this meeting! Been hunting all my life, but hadn’t ever heard anything about these round tables or even the main CPW meeting minutes. Been very interesting reading through this post and others forum to learn more about the details of how new policies work their way through the system.
 
I appreciate the update, and your willingness to volunteer your time to the Roundtable. I was one of the initial statewide appointees when the Roundtable was created in 2013, and was one of half in the group to be appointed to a 3 year term. Finished 5 years on the Roundtable in 2018. It's a lot of time and work if you participate, so thank you.

I want to clarify a couple of things you mentioned, or at least clarify them for myself.



I think you mean LPP rather than PLO here. It's an important distinction. I would note a couple of things about LPP concerns as well. Disclaimer: I have always been a vocal (to a fault) opponent of the LPP. The fact is, a vast majority of the 20% (10% unitwide and 10% PLO) of licenses in totally limited units that are set aside for LPP end up back in the public draw due to low demand. LPP IS taking the cream of the crop, though. But with the new NR allocation of 75/25 for limited licenses, I wonder just how much residents would feel a pinch by going totally limited on elk, even with an LPP cut? I'm not convinced it would change the availability of licenses for residents if they applied in the initial draw (even 2nd-4th choice).
Oak, I still want to be you when I grow up, date uncertain since I turn 65 this month. Correct on LPP, I was typing more than thinking. LPP 20% off the top to PLO tags happens before any 75-25 allocation, per RT discussions w staff. W half or PLO tags going to NRs, that potentially means 65-35, which is not the direction any of my resident constituents want. Nor do I. That is one reason so many PLO tags go unissued. I agree the statute requiring LPP is outdated and a huge obstacle in the current effort to modernize and improve the draw process, but
1690990273584.png
 
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There's not a system out there that is going to guarantee every applicant a tag in their lifetime if they diligently apply. That's just a silly comment.



This is true to some extent, but there is a coalition of hunting organizations that coalesced around the proposed mountain lion hunting ban in 2022. The Colorado Wildlife Conservation Project meets weekly during the legislative session and every other week the rest of the year. They coordinate testimony on proposed legislation, outreach to state legislators and CPW Commissioners, comments on federal proposed actions and state management issues, responses to bad press, etc.

Hunters could do a whole lot better organizing, but we are too divided among our species or issue-centric missions.
Agree that RT reps wanting a guarantee on MSG draw in the midst of skyrocketing demand is anachronistic. I included that in my summary because that is how the current RT operates, and if a CO sportsman wants that to be different, make it known @ regional caucus meetings or communicate it to caucus or state RT reps. They are listed on the CPW Roundtable page,

Thank you for the reminder about CWCP and the link. That may be the best avenue for hunters to present united opposition against efforts to reduce or end hunting and the North American model in Colorado.
 
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For you guys that have served on the Roundtable, thanks for your time and dedication. Did the input that your groups provided CPW make a difference in their decision making or not? If so, please cite a few examples. Thanks again.
 
This is my last meeting summary as state appointed member of the Roundtable. My appointment ended after 4 years, appointees are term limited to 2 two year terms. FYI, representatives elected by the 4 regional caucuses are not term-limited. Today I will summarize my notes from the meeting in Breckenridge. When CPW posts its official summary of the meeting, I'll post that link as well.

Chief of CO Dept. of Natural Resources Dan Gibbs attended, spoke and took questions about Outdoor Regional Partnerships. He said rather than these groups diluting hunter/angler influence, they are designed to increase emphasis on wildlife habitat in land use planning. Fielding questions and criticisms about qualifications and ideologies of 3 new appointees to CPW Board of Commissioners, Gibbs defended each and encouraged anyone w concerns to contact that Commissioner. He confirmed that all appointees are interim status until the state Senate confirmation process, which happens sometime between Jan. and April 2024 when state legislature convenes its next term. FYI, senators may refuse to confirm Commission appointees then, depending on input from their constituents. Gibbs introduced new CPW Director and hero of the Confederacy, Jeff Davis.

Davis introduced self professionally, expressed gratitude about being selected to lead "the best state wildlife agency in the country." "We're not moving away from the North American model, we're shifting to mutualistic management." RT members questioned Davis' outdoor bon fides, he is an archery hunter and angler, now learning fly fishing. He was able to retain his predecessor, interim Director Heather Disney Dugan, in a newly-created Assistant Director position.

Reid Dewalt's Wolf Reintro update: Commission approved reintroduction plan unanimously. ID and MT formally and flatly refused to supply wolves for reintro, despite direct letters to each from Director Davis (not mentioned in meeting, WY is also refusing to provide wolves for formal reintroduction). WA and OR have agreed in principle to supply wolves. Funds for wolf reintro enabled the current and most robust study of elk survival and use of habitat in CO's history. Study cohorts, each including 80 collared cows, are underway in Bear's Ears, Middle Park, South Park and the Gunnison Basin, not coincidentally the areas of expected wolf impact on elk herds. CPW's wolf pack has been busy trying to convince wildlife agencies in NM, AZ and UT that CO's wolves will not contact endangered Mexican wolves in those states. That concern among others makes it more likely that 10J rule management allowing lethal means will be approved for CO. DeWalt expressed full confidence 10J will be in place for CO wolf reintro. Wolf questions can always be directed to Reid DeWalt or Corey Lewandowski @ CPW.

BGSS hunter survey redux: Surveying continued with online and focus group sessions. With each round of surveys, the options narrow. Emerging trends in the public survey process include support for 2 separated pronghorn seasons on public lands, and limiting to residents or eliminating OTC elk licenses. Robust discussion around the state statute that among all totally limited licenses, 20% must be issued as Private Land Only. Staff reported PLO tags are issued about 50-50 to residents and NRs. Current season calendar has about 50% support, more than any of the alternatives on the survey. RT members criticized the current MSG license draw structure, noting that Many years of applying does not guarantee drawing a tag. Staff replied that the current system does offer incremental improvement in odds of being drawn, the benefit of which is diluted by the large increase in applicants for these licenses annually. A delegate shared a survey conducted by Colorado Bowhunters Assoc, which supported continuing OTC archery elk licenses.

There is a CPW working group currently considering all the above issues along with preference points, weighted draw options and other revisions to the draw process. This group may still have 2 volunteer vacancies. The group process including timeline for 3-5 formal recommendations to the Commission is detailed here:

CPW may still be seeking 2 volunteers to serve as Southeast region appointed Roundtable representatives.

From 4 years as RT delegate, these topics stand out:
  • CPW staff are professional and approachable. By and large they are outdoor sportspeople who care deeply about wildlife and habitat. They do their jobs as directed by the Commission, statutes, legislature and Governor's office, not necessarily in that order. I see wildlife and habitat management as far more politicized than it has been.
  • There are local, state and national/international organizations advocating for their own agendas, with wildlife and CPW in the crosshairs. Prior to the ballot initiative ordering wolf reintroduction, the Commission was on record opposing it @ least twice. Since it is law CPW can no longer oppose it.
  • While most resource managers and scientists claim to oppose wildlife management by ballot box, it is and will continue to be an increasing factor, almost entirely to the detriment of hunters, trappers and anglers, because
  • Sportsmen and women have not politically organized sufficiently to counter antihunting pressures from the Humane Society, Friends of the Earth, PETA, and other professionally organized and well-funded antihunting groups.​
We had a good chance to defeat wolf reintroduction in a Colorado election, missed it by that much. Since then I have not seen any effective efforts to build coalitions to defend hunting and the North American mode, at least in Coloradol. Instead, I see blaming along political party lines, expressions of hopelessness, infighting among groups with common interests, and most of all a pervasive resistance among sportspeople to get involved in the politics of protecting access, wildlife and hunting.

View attachment 286354
Any idea on when, or even if this meeting will be posted to view?

Thank you for providing an update.
 
For you guys that have served on the Roundtable, thanks for your time and dedication. Did the input that your groups provided CPW make a difference in their decision making or not? If so, please cite a few examples. Thanks again.
The reason I asked is sometimes public comment is taken seriously and actually contributes to the end product and other times it feels like public input is asked for but not really considered when final decisions are made. I just wondered how much influence the regional sportsperson caucuses and the state roundtable have in CPW's decision making process. I have attended our regional meetings in person and also watched some online and find the process interesting and was hoping CPW values the input. With that said, it is apparent that some of the suggestions are not viable - at the regional level anyway. Thanks again for serving.
 
This is my last meeting summary as state appointed member of the Roundtable. My appointment ended after 4 years, appointees are term limited to 2 two year terms. FYI, representatives elected by the 4 regional caucuses are not term-limited. Today I will summarize my notes from the meeting in Breckenridge. When CPW posts its official summary of the meeting, I'll post that link as well.

Chief of CO Dept. of Natural Resources Dan Gibbs attended, spoke and took questions about Outdoor Regional Partnerships. He said rather than these groups diluting hunter/angler influence, they are designed to increase emphasis on wildlife habitat in land use planning. Fielding questions and criticisms about qualifications and ideologies of 3 new appointees to CPW Board of Commissioners, Gibbs defended each and encouraged anyone w concerns to contact that Commissioner. He confirmed that all appointees are interim status until the state Senate confirmation process, which happens sometime between Jan. and April 2024 when state legislature convenes its next term. FYI, senators may refuse to confirm Commission appointees then, depending on input from their constituents. Gibbs introduced new CPW Director and hero of the Confederacy, Jeff Davis.

Davis introduced self professionally, expressed gratitude about being selected to lead "the best state wildlife agency in the country." "We're not moving away from the North American model, we're shifting to mutualistic management." RT members questioned Davis' outdoor bon fides, he is an archery hunter and angler, now learning fly fishing. He was able to retain his predecessor, interim Director Heather Disney Dugan, in a newly-created Assistant Director position.

Reid Dewalt's Wolf Reintro update: Commission approved reintroduction plan unanimously. ID and MT formally and flatly refused to supply wolves for reintro, despite direct letters to each from Director Davis (not mentioned in meeting, WY is also refusing to provide wolves for formal reintroduction). WA and OR have agreed in principle to supply wolves. Funds for wolf reintro enabled the current and most robust study of elk survival and use of habitat in CO's history. Study cohorts, each including 80 collared cows, are underway in Bear's Ears, Middle Park, South Park and the Gunnison Basin, not coincidentally the areas of expected wolf impact on elk herds. CPW's wolf pack has been busy trying to convince wildlife agencies in NM, AZ and UT that CO's wolves will not contact endangered Mexican wolves in those states. That concern among others makes it more likely that 10J rule management allowing lethal means will be approved for CO. DeWalt expressed full confidence 10J will be in place for CO wolf reintro. Wolf questions can always be directed to Reid DeWalt or Corey Lewandowski @ CPW.

BGSS hunter survey redux: Surveying continued with online and focus group sessions. With each round of surveys, the options narrow. Emerging trends in the public survey process include support for 2 separated pronghorn seasons on public lands, and limiting to residents or eliminating OTC elk licenses. Robust discussion around the state statute that among all totally limited licenses, 20% must be issued as Private Land Only. Staff reported PLO tags are issued about 50-50 to residents and NRs. Current season calendar has about 50% support, more than any of the alternatives on the survey. RT members criticized the current MSG license draw structure, noting that Many years of applying does not guarantee drawing a tag. Staff replied that the current system does offer incremental improvement in odds of being drawn, the benefit of which is diluted by the large increase in applicants for these licenses annually. A delegate shared a survey conducted by Colorado Bowhunters Assoc, which supported continuing OTC archery elk licenses.

There is a CPW working group currently considering all the above issues along with preference points, weighted draw options and other revisions to the draw process. This group may still have 2 volunteer vacancies. The group process including timeline for 3-5 formal recommendations to the Commission is detailed here:

CPW may still be seeking 2 volunteers to serve as Southeast region appointed Roundtable representatives.

From 4 years as RT delegate, these topics stand out:
  • CPW staff are professional and approachable. By and large they are outdoor sportspeople who care deeply about wildlife and habitat. They do their jobs as directed by the Commission, statutes, legislature and Governor's office, not necessarily in that order. I see wildlife and habitat management as far more politicized than it has been.
  • There are local, state and national/international organizations advocating for their own agendas, with wildlife and CPW in the crosshairs. Prior to the ballot initiative ordering wolf reintroduction, the Commission was on record opposing it @ least twice. Since it is law CPW can no longer oppose it.
  • While most resource managers and scientists claim to oppose wildlife management by ballot box, it is and will continue to be an increasing factor, almost entirely to the detriment of hunters, trappers and anglers, because
  • Sportsmen and women have not politically organized sufficiently to counter antihunting pressures from the Humane Society, Friends of the Earth, PETA, and other professionally organized and well-funded antihunting groups.​
We had a good chance to defeat wolf reintroduction in a Colorado election, missed it by that much. Since then I have not seen any effective efforts to build coalitions to defend hunting and the North American mode, at least in Coloradol. Instead, I see blaming along political party lines, expressions of hopelessness, infighting among groups with common interests, and most of all a pervasive resistance among sportspeople to get involved in the politics of protecting access, wildlife and hunting.

View attachment 286354
🫡
 
For you guys that have served on the Roundtable, thanks for your time and dedication. Did the input that your groups provided CPW make a difference in their decision making or not? If so, please cite a few examples. Thanks again.
It has been more than 5 years for me and many of the players have changed, but here's my perspective. Being a member of the Roundtable gives you the opportunity to have real, sit-down meetings with the CPW Leadership Team and discuss the issues of the day. It gives you insight into management directions CPW might be proposing and why they are proposing them. It gives you the opportunity to perhaps offer tweaks to proposals, etc. You can develop relationships with CPW staff that can last far beyond your term on the Roundtable.

I felt like it was important to recognize that I wasn't there to represent myself, but rather to represent sportsmen at large, and to acknowledge opposing points of view and why they were held. Frankly, there are some personalities that don't do well in a setting like that. What's that phrase about catching flies with honey?
 
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