Notes from Colorado Sportsperson’s Roundtable Virtual Meeting, December 16th 2020

elkduds

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Apologies for the delay in posting.

2021 Legislative Session Alice Cosgrove, DNR Legislative Liaison, shared a concept for a new outdoor pass to support key goals for CPW, including ensuring sufficient staffing and resources for our parks system and supporting Search and Rescue, wildfire mitigation, and non-game species. By providing a reduced price for an annual state park pass, this pass would provide more equitable access to the outdoors.

Update on SWAs and the recent regulation change in July 2020 requiring anyone accessing an SWA to hold a valid hunting or fishing license. CPW convened a group of stakeholders to discuss this issue and develop recommendations. The group is exploring ways for other users to financially contribute to wildlife management and to address increased pressure on SWAs. Consideration include: free youth pass for individuals <16 years old; day pass; opportunity to develop a low income pass; and managing recreational uses at SWAs (e.g., certain types of use for certain days/week, etc.) to ensure such uses remain compatible with the purpose of the SWA, emphasizing fishing and/or hunting. Widespread interest in educating the public about SWAs and how they were developed. Specifically, that they were purchased using hunting license funds and federal aid.

Update on a CPW advisory body, the Access Working Group, who is exploring opportunities to increase access for hunting and fishing. AWG has discussed the need for additional landowner representation to help identify processes that will work for increasing access on private lands. The AWG is also developing a charter. AWG is developing a statewide plan with representation from all regions of the state.

Wolf Reintroduction & Management: 1) proposition 114, which passed in November, 2) Current Federal status (i.e., management authority being transferred to CPW once wolves are delisted in January), and 3) an update on the status of wolves currently in Colorado. Likely that lawsuits will be filed in the 9th Circuit Court or that the new administration will move to re-list, both could occur over long time periods. The small northwest CO pack will be considered in CPWs management plan. CPW will have management authority over those wolves as well.

In the past five years, revenue from wildlife-oriented license plates has increased from just under $20,000 when launched in Fiscal Year 2016 to over $420,000 in Fiscal Year 2020. The number of limited big game license applications continued to increase in 2020, but there were fewer OTC and leftover license purchases from nonresidents in 2020. CPW also saw a significant increase in refund requests from both resident and nonresident hunters in 2020. When asked to note the reason for their refund request, many hunters listed COVID and fires. A RT member talked to a handful of hunters whose parents had never hunted. These individuals recently started hunting and were taking their children hunting which was encouraging to hear.


The Roundtable will reconvene in early March 2021. My summary will follow.
 
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