CWF Recommendations re Parks & Wildlife Commission composition

October 13, 2011

 Below is the recommendation submitted by CWF and the other signatories to the letter as to the composition and number of seats on the newly merged Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission.  (The merger was effective on July 1, 2011.) The Commission will vote on composition and number at its November 10-11 meeting and then will make its recommendation for legislation needed to effect the change (2012 legislative session).   We firmly believe that the former Wildlife Commission's structure of constituent representation, coupled with at large seats, must be retained rather than moving to a structure in which all voting seats become" public at large" seats.  Constituent representation helps to ensure the necessary and appropriate areas of expertise and demonstrated interest in the particular areas, while Commission members, of course, exercise independent judgment on the issues before them.  Hunting and fishing regulations are very techical and often have far broader implications for wildlife management policy. 

 

September 29, 2011      

 

Mike King 

Executive Director 

Department of Natural Resources 

1313 Sherman Street, 7th Floor 

Denver, Colorado  80203 

 

 Transmitted by email to DPWPublic_Input@state.co.us 

 

Dear Mike:  

 

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the question of Parks and Wildlife Commission 

composition that was posted for public comment on September 2.  In our previous comment 

letter dated July 29, we had recommended an 11-member Commission plus the two existing ex 

officio positions.  

 

After listening to the Commission discussion at the September meeting, we have made an 

adjustment to the recommendation presented in our letter of July 29.  The adjustment is this: 

reducing agricultural, outdoor recreation, and sportsmen from 3 to 2 positions, respectively, and 

adding 3 at-large positions.   It is important that at least 2 Sportsmen positions remain on the 

Commission to ensure personal interest in hunting and fishing and adequate expertise in 

complicated hunting and fishing regulatory matters.  We also recommend that one of the 

individuals appointed to the two Outdoor Recreationist specialist positions be an outdoor 

recreationist who is a parks and trails user. Therefore, the Commission composition we 

recommend is the following:   

1. County Commissioner    

2. Wildlife Organization (wildlife policy work re nonconsumptive issues)    

3. Agriculture – produce grower  

4. Agriculture – livestock producer  

5. Outdoor Recreation specialist  

6. Outdoor Recreation specialist 

7. Sportsman 

8. Sportsman 

9. At Large position 

10. At Large position 

11. At Large position 

12. Ex Officio/Non-voting member DNR –ED 

13.  Ex Officio/Non-voting member (Department of Agriculture)

 

  We recommend that positions listed as 1 and 2 above be open to appointment statewide. To 

maintain geographic distribution, we urge that the appointments to the Agriculture, Sportsmen 

and Outdoor Recreation Specialist positions be filled with one individual from the West Slope 

and one individual from the East Slope.  In addition, we recommend that no more than 5 

members of the 11 voting positions be registered in any one political party, providing 

opportunity for some representation from the large number of unaffiliated voters in the state or 

from minority parties.   

 

You also requested comment as to the mission of the new agency.  We addressed this question in 

our letter of July 29.  We note that the alternatives provided in the September 2 request for public 

comment were made in the context of a legislative declaration. Therefore, we presume a mission 

statement either will be developed that is consistent with the legislative declaration (shorter, in 

an active voice), or will simply adopt the identical language of the legislative declaration.  

 

 

Sincerely, 

 

John Smeltzer                             Suzanne O’Neill 

Board Chair                                Executive Director 

Colorado Wildlife Federation     Colorado Wildlife Federation 

 

David Nickum 

Executive Director 

Colorado Trout Unlimited 

 

Robert Ong 

President 

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society 

 

John Gale 

Co-Chair 

Colorado Backcountry Hunters and Anglers 

 

Tim Mauck 

County Commissioner, Clear Creek, and Sportsman 

 

 
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