Caribou Gear

Private land bighorn sheep access program proposal

Oak

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The Parks and Wildlife Commission was mailed a CPW issue paper last week which proposes a new private land access program for bighorn sheep, to replace the existing Ranching for Wildlife bighorn sheep access program. The issue paper will be formally introduced at the PWC meeting next Tuesday, and is attached below.

Some important differences between the existing RFW program and the proposed program include:

  • A reduction in deeded acreage required to qualify, from 12,000 to 5,000
  • A change in ram license allocation from the current 1:1 public/private split to a 2:1 or 3:1 allocation favoring the landowners, depending on the option chosen by the landowner
  • A minimum of 60% of the bighorn sheep in the DAU must reside on private land or State Trust Land not currently accessible by the public for a ranch to be eligible
  • No requirement for the participating ranches to conduct habitat management actions

Other notable aspects of the proposed program include:
  • The two ranches currently enrolled in the RFW program at the 1:1 allocation will transition to the new program when their existing contracts have been fulfilled
  • Public license hunters may be restricted from spike camping on ranches unless that benefit is offered to the private license hunters
  • Successful public license hunters will be subject to the 5 year wait before reapplying in the state draw for a bighorn ram license or preference point, while successful private license hunters will not have the same restriction
The Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society Board is concerned with many aspects of the proposed program. Our greatest concern is with loss of the public resource to private interests. The proposed program reduces the public allocation of licenses on participating ranches and does nothing to benefit wild sheep. This proposal continues the trend of privatizing our wildlife in the state, at the cost of lost opportunity for the hunters that cannot afford to pay $35K-$60k for a private land sheep license.

The existing bighorn sheep RFW program likely does need some changes made to accommodate the ranches that do not wish to participate in the deer and elk portion of the program (currently a requirement to participate with bighorn sheep). However, the threefold increase in private ram licenses under the proposed program is a slap in the face to Colorado hunters who fund the vast majority of wildlife management in the state.

The RMBS will be testifying in opposition to the proposed program at the PWC meeting next week in Grand Junction. I encourage those of you who cannot attend the meeting in person to please email the Commission with your thoughts on the proposal. You may email them at: [email protected]

If you wish to send comments directly to the Commissioners so that they receive them prior to the meeting, please use the following addresses:

Robert Bray, Chairman: [email protected]
Chris Castilian: [email protected]
Jeanne Horne: [email protected]
John Howard: [email protected]
Bill Kane: [email protected]
Dale Pizel: [email protected]
James Pribyl: [email protected]
Jim Vigil: [email protected]
Dean Wingfield: [email protected]
Michelle Zimmerman: [email protected]
Alexander Zipp: [email protected]

Mike King, Executive Director DNR, Ex-Officio PWC member: [email protected]
Don Brown, Commissioner of Agriculture, Ex-Officio PWC member: [email protected]
Bob Broscheid, Director CPW, Ex-Officio PWC member: [email protected]
 

Attachments

  • 11-Bighorn Sheep-Private Land Access IssueFINAL.pdf
    43.6 KB · Views: 190

Big Fin

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I need an emoticon of a guy shaking his head. When does it stop? When is enough, enough?
 

sneakem

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Bunch of crap... Spoon feed landowners tags... At least with current RFW guidelines they are required habitat enhancement, not that its ever enforced. There should be a once in a lifetime restriction for private hunters, habitat enhancement, and at least an equal share of the tags (public vs private) as the animals are owned by the state even though they reside on private land.

Basically boils down to getting more $$$ and tags and having even less responsibility to the welfare of the herd, and the public gets no benefit from it??? Shame on them! My email will land on there desk...
 

antlerradar

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In the past I used to think that if done right Ranching for Wildlife could have some merit. This only confirms my current belief that it is just the first step on a very short plank.

Antlerradar
 

Desert Sheep

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Who sent the CPW issue paper? I'm guessing it is the people that have the most to gain from this ill advised proposal.

I understand that the cost of "some/most" of the sheep on Forbes ranch was funded by Forbes. But it took a number of years before the public even got a chance to hunt there.

I don't see this proposal as benefitting the public.
 

BuzzH

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What more needs to be said...more thievery of Colorado's wildlife resources.

Its never going to end unless they get it all.
 

Oak

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Who sent the CPW issue paper? I'm guessing it is the people that have the most to gain from this ill advised proposal.

I understand that the cost of "some/most" of the sheep on Forbes ranch was funded by Forbes. But it took a number of years before the public even got a chance to hunt there.

I don't see this proposal as benefitting the public.

The issue paper was written by CPW staff (names at the bottom of it) and sent to the Commission. It will be formally introduced to the public at the Commission meeting next week.

The Forbes-Trinchera Ranch paid for 100% of the transplant cost over 30 years ago, with the agreement that the sheep would belong to the State as soon as they hit the ground, and the ranch would receive 90% of the ram licenses issued over the course of the agreement, which expires at the end of this year. Over that time period, the ranch has received approximately 54 licenses and the public has received 6.

The entire program was reworked in this issue paper in part because the Trinchera Ranch (now owned by Louis Bacon) has said that they would choose to not participate in the RFW program at the current 1:1 split. In addition, there are a couple of other ranches in that part of the state that would be eligible but currently don't participate. The CPW argument is that we need to do more to incentivize those ranches to participate. My argument is that they can choose to participate at the current split, or not. The public stands to lose one license every 4 years if Trinchera drops out.
 

Dinkshooter

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The entire program was reworked in this issue paper in part because the Trinchera Ranch (now owned by Louis Bacon) has said that they would choose to not participate in the RFW program at the current 1:1 split.

Can I get a boo hoo?
 

Desert Sheep

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Oak - so would Trinchera pull out of just the sheep part of RWF or the whole thing?

Or do they even do deer and elk anymore?
 
Last edited:

Oak

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Oak - so would Trinchera pull out of just the sheep part of RWF or the whole thing?

Or do they even do deer and elk anymore?

They would presumably just pull out of sheep hunting. I'm not sure they are willing to play chicken with their deer and elk licenses.
 

BuzzH

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I would force their hand, agree to the 1:1 split or you get a 0:0 split...let them make the choice.
 

sneakem

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They should relocate the sheep if they refuse.... and use any measure necessary to ensure that it happens, like pulling all their big game tags, and refusing to pay game damage unless they cooperate.

Fat chance right!!
 

Oak

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I would force their hand, agree to the 1:1 split or you get a 0:0 split...let them make the choice.

That's my position.

Last year 11,357 residents applied for 230 sheep licenses. One would think that there is a substantial number of residents invested in the idea of gaining and keeping as much opportunity as possible.
 

Live4MtnHunts

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We really need folks to send emails to the Wildlife Commission.

Just like Oak....I spent 6 years of my life working for free on behalf of what I believe to be Colorado's most precious resources...wild sheep. In that time, I helped raise over a million $'s with the intent for wild sheep to be healthier and to flourish. Unfortunately, little has really changed in that time and consequently...our efforts to create more opportunity for folks that dream of the chance to hunt sheep has changed little. Because of fragmented habitat or loss of migration corridors, there are not a lot of areas suitable for establishing new herds. Sadly, we also continue to fight "entitled" landowners/woolgrowers who place their unsustainable and subsidized livelihood ahead of everything else. That leaves the best (current) option for increasing hunting opportunity as opening areas that contain sheep but have private land access issues.

The CPW's intentions are on target and I applaud them for taking the initial steps to move this forward. However, good intentions will cause a bad outcome as the recommendation is being presented. The numbers go something like this.....$30-50,000 per tag for the landowners. Really.....to gain access, the state needs to barter away (in effect) $90-150,000 for each public land tag?

Oak is right....if the Forbes Ranch doesn't want to play ball, we basically lose nothing. I have to believe that a year or two of demanding a fair deal by the state will see individual ranches jumping ship and agreeing to sign on for a 1:1 split. Seems as though the CPW would rather be impatient and give away the public's resources for pennies on the dollar. I apologize for rambling but it is critical that we get this right the first time.

Robert
 

Whiptail

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I would force their hand, agree to the 1:1 split or you get a 0:0 split...let them make the choice.

I agree. The same should be done to states that don't offer 50% of their permits to nonresidents for hunting on Federal land.
 

Oak

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Why would they want to run domestic sheep? Nobody is forcing any hands. There is an existing program in place if the landowners choose to participate. I find it interesting that a landowner would assume the worst from landowners in general: extortion to get their way.
 

brymoore

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That's my position.

Last year 11,357 residents applied for 230 sheep licenses. One would think that there is a substantial number of residents invested in the idea of gaining and keeping as much opportunity as possible.

I agree but I'd prefer NO private sheep tags.
 

Oak

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This topic will be on the PWC meeting agenda on July 9 in Frisco. The agenda will not be out until about 10 days before the meeting, but the meeting begins at 8:00 am. This topic could come up as early as 9:00 am or as late as 4:00 pm. We will know more in a couple of weeks.

I would like to see as many of you at this meeting as possible. If you apply for bighorn sheep in Colorado, this affects you. If you don't think that the ranches with moose are going to be asking for a special program with increased allocation next, you aren't paying attention. So if you apply for moose in Colorado, this affects you.

The deadline for written (snail mail) comments to the Commission is noon on June 25:

Colorado Parks & Wildlife Commission
c/o Public Involvement Unit
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
6060 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216

You may email comments to:
[email protected]

Please take the time to submit comments in some form, even if you have already submitted comments the first time around. The Commissioners need to know that you still don't support the plan to give away a greater percentage of licenses to landowners.

If you are planning to attend, or would like more information, please email me at [email protected]. I would like to keep track of who is planning to be there.
 

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