Colorado Conservation Summit Executive Summary

2008 Colorado Conservation Summit:
Colorado Wildlife at a Crossroads
Executive Summary
Our Shared Commitment to the Future
A Consensus Statement of the 2008 Colorado Conservation Summit
We, the participants of the 2008 Colorado Conservation Summit, have come together because we share these fundamental beliefs about our state and natural resources:
  • We have been entrusted with the stewardship of one of the best places on Earth.
  • We must redouble our efforts to maintain and enhance the habitat that Colorado’s fish, wildlife and native plant populations need to survive, if we are to fulfill our responsibilities to future generations.
Colorado’s wildlife is a public trust – a defining resource that is key to our Western heritage, traditions and place within the Western landscape. Wildlife-based recreation is a multi-billion dollar industry with the potential to grow in importance as resources in other portions of the world are depleted. Equally important are the intangible aesthetic and spiritual connections to our wildlife that tie us to the land and define us as a people and region.
The broad cross-section of Coloradans who have come together for this Summit understand that increasing development pressures both within our state and the surrounding region are creating an intense competition for our resources. Threats include:
  • Rapid population growth in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West.
  • Increasing demand for water within Colorado and in states that rely on rivers originating in Colorado.
  • A dramatic increase in energy development on public and private lands.
  • Increased demand for outdoor recreation among some groups, which creates industries that both depend on healthy, intact natural systems and have the potential to damage these values.
  • Declining participation by children and families in outdoor activities, which threatens to erode the constituency for wildlife and habitat protections.
  • Rapid and unpredictable climate shifts.
With these and other factors in mind, we recognize that we must act today if our wildlife heritage is to be sustained for future generations. If we fail to act now, we will certainly leave our children a Colorado diminished by our lack of determination.
To accomplish our ambitious goals, we recognize the need for an improved public dialogue to build a constituency that supports policies and practices in the public and private sectors that are specifically designed to maintain and enhance healthy wildlife populations and habitat through 2058.
This dialogue must lead to specific actions by our elected officials and government agencies at all levels that leads to the rethinking of existing mechanisms that guide our stewardship of natural resources. These steps must be sufficient to secure both the protection and enhancement of the habitat that fish and wildlife need to survive – and the responsible management required for the long-term sustainability of our wildlife resource.
If we are to accomplish our goals, elected leaders, state and federal agency heads, private industry, agriculture, landowners, universities, wildlife conservation and environmental organizations must be equally involved”and equally committed”to a shared vision for the future of Colorado’s wildlife.
We hereby embrace our obligations as trustees of Colorado’s wildlife heritage. We resolve to continue our work beyond the Colorado Conservation Summit – to inform and engage the public and government leaders, to support promising new approaches and to advocate for decisions needed to address the complex problems threatening our most treasured natural resources.
Finally, to the citizens of Colorado and the nation: We recommit ourselves to the resolute stewardship of this priceless and irreplaceable resource, Colorado’s wildlife. We invite you to join us in this unprecedented endeavor.
Oct. 8, 2008
[This consensus statement is signed by individuals or organizations who attended the 2008 Colorado Wildlife Conservation Summit and support the vision for wildlife conservation embodied in this consensus statement.
Signature to this document should not be interpreted as implicit agreement to any specific recommendations identified within ongoing working documents or follow-up reports.]
Gary Graham
Audubon Colorado
Doris Cruze
Audubon Society of Greater Denver
Josh Pollock
Center for Native Ecosystems
Ivan James
Colorado Bowhunters Association
Dr. Walt Hecox
Colorado College
Ron Cattany
Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety
Steve S. Shuey
Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety
James Anthony
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Jay Cooper
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Jay Skinner
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Jennifer Strotman
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Jon Holst
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Kathi Green
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Lori Morgan
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Tabbi Kinion
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Thomas Nesler
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Tom Remington
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Wendy Hanophy
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Elise Jones
Colorado Environmental Coalition
Roger Tucker
Colorado Hawking Club
Wolf Brueggemann
Colorado Hawking Club
Clare Bastable
Colorado Mountain Club
Nancy Stocker
Colorado Prairie Wildlife Photo Trail
Chris Sturm
Colorado Water Conservation Board *
Robert Viehl
Colorado Water Conservation Board *
John Smeltzer
Colorado Wildlife Federation
Bill Daley
Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation
Bob Hewson
Colorado Youth Outdoors
Greg Kernahan
Ducks Unlimited *
Bill Dvorak
Dvorak Expeditions
Courtney Copeland
Dwane Matthews
Environmental Learning for Kids
Hugo Valdez
Environmental Learning for Kids
Robert Hernandez
GreenWay LLC
Kate Zimmerman
National Wildlife Federation
Paul Drey
Outdoor Heritage Consulting
Laura Thomas
Prairie Preservation Alliance
Alan Heald
Quiet Use Coalition
Bob Towry
Retired Colorado Division of Wildlife
Eddie Kochman
Retired Colorado Division of Wildlife
John Mumma
Retired Director, Colorado Division of Wildlife
Gary Miller
Retired Division of Wildlife
Tom Easley
Rocky Mountain Climate Organization
Cheri Eby
Safari Club International *
John Nelson
Safari Club International *
Russ Eby
Safari Club International *
Hillary White
Sheep Mountain Alliance
Charles Bedford
The Nature Conservancy
Janice Thomson
The Wilderness Society
Suzanne Jones
The Wilderness Society
Holly Tarry
US Humane Society *
Shirley J. Casey
WildAgain Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc.
Charles Richmond
US Forest Service – Forest Supervisor, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
Chuck Warren
Colleen Gadd
Dan Dallas
US Forest Service – Forest Supervisor, Rio Grande National Forest
David Armstrong
David Dittloff
Gene Reetz
Glen Casamassa
US Forest Service – Forest Supervisor,  Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland