2022 – A Year of Opportunity for Coloradans and Wildlife
As we enter the 2022 Spring and Summer seasons here in Colorado, the promise of warmer weather and the greening of the vegetation whets our appetite for all things outdoors. Our resilience, fortitude and patience have withstood the Covid pandemic, and fishing, boating, hiking, bird-watching, and gardening are waiting for our participation. The late winter and spring moisture, at least along the Front Range, is beneficial for the quality of wildlife habitat and water flows. The Colorado Wildlife Federation hopes that you are currently healthy and getting outdoors as much as possible during the warm Spring days.
The Colorado Wildlife Federation (CWF) has been active this Spring fulfilling our mission “to advocate and educate for the conservation of Colorado’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats for all”. Our advocacy work for the year began in January with the start of the Colorado State General Assembly bills and consideration of potential actions that could affect Colorado’s wildlife and wildlife habitat.
CWF has participated with other organizations in either supporting or opposing bills at the State Capitol. In January, the CWF participated in sportsmen and sportswomen day at the legislature to oppose a bill that would have outlawed hunting for mountain lions and bobcats. CWF opposed the bill as it is our firm belief, expressed consistently over the years, that all wildlife management policies must remain within the purview of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission. It is important that CPW retain the authority to responsibly manage these species using its science-based principles that factor in habitat, populations, and maintaining sustainable ecological balance, mitigation of conflicts and other components. The healthy populations of bobcat and mountain lion are due to CPW’s careful management of these species within the larger ecological structure, guided by science, retain its jurisdiction over these species populations and habitats. The bill was voted down in the committee hearing. Our Executive Director has testified in person, or written letters to various committees and legislators on the following bills. Each is updated on our homepage under News.
- Supporting HB 22-1072 Habitat Partnership Program bill which is now on the Governor’s desk This is very effective program. The purpose of the HPP is to reduce wildlife conflicts, particularly those associated with forage and fences through problem solving, and to assist ColoradoParks and Wildlife in meeting game management objectives. HPP works through local committees comprised of landowners, land management agencies and sportspersons. The program is funded from five percent of the net annual sales of big game licenses used in the geographic areas represented by the local habitat partnership committees. The bill will expand the program to encourage maintaining big game critical access to their migration corridors.
- HB 22-1104 powertrails bill, as amended, was signed into law by Governor Polis on April 13.
- HB 22-1168 hunter education bill was passed by the House and Senate would allow local schools to provide a hunter education course to all seventh graders. It requires an agreement with an individual or entity that offer the courses that are certified by CPW.
- S 22-151 Safe Crossings for Colorado Wildlife and Motorists was introduced on March 8. CWF enthusiastically supports this bill. Sponsors are Sen. Danielson and Story and Representatives McCluskie and Will and Roberts. The Senate Transportation & Energy Committee voted in favor of the bill unanimously on March 29. It now moves on to Senate Appropriations Committee. CWF testified in strong support of the bill.
- S 22-158 Species Conservation Trust Fund passed the Senate, and House Agriculture, Water & Natural Resources Committee, unamended, and is before the House Appropriations Committee. CWF supports.
- S 22-168 Backcountry Search and Rescue was passed by the Senate Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee and is before Senate Appropriations. CWF supports.
CWF is a participant in the Colorado Wildlife Conservation Project (CWCP).
The executive director has represented the CWF positions on other state, local, and federal land management issues: Here are a few of the matters:
- Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rulemaking re Colorado Parks and Wildlife map updates for High Priority Habitats concluded on April 6 with the hearing in which Commission adoption of the updated maps. CWF was a party and testified in favor of the updated maps.
- We await BLM’s final Resource Management Plan for Eastern Colorado — South Park area portion. CWF has worked with Park County and many others for several years to urge specific recommendations that will provide a good outcome for the largely unfragmented wildlife habitats and iconic streams.
- Outside 285 master plan to balance wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation (trails). Outside 285 will submit an application to CPW for support funding as a regional partnership. Our executive director serves as a member of steering committee of Outside 285.
- Colorado Wildlife Commission meetings and suggested policy and management approaches dealing with regulations; our executive director serves on a CPW work group to address recreational uses of state wildlife areas.
- Protection and development of wildlife migratory corridor considerations for other state and federal agencies.
- Commenting on the Rio Grande, Gunnison, Grand Mesa and Uncomphagre National Forest Master Plan planning efforts.
- Participation on the South Platte Basin Roundtable to comment on and request projects through the South Platte Basin Implementation Plan.
- Participation in the Colorado Outdoor Partnership
- Contributed to the National Wildlife Federation-Colorado Wildlife Federation report on planning for wolf reintroduction in Colorado pursuant to Proposition 114- scheduled for publication release soon
Colorado Wildlife Federation, in 2022 is bringing back to life our “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” program and is making a strong effort to reach out to underserved women from minority communities in the state. The initial day program isa fishing clinic on May 28 at Lake Lehow. To register, go to our Becoming an Outdoors Woman webpage. Sales continue for the Governor’s elk raffle license tickets. The drawing is on June 18 and proceeds benefit big game habitats. CWF also will begin planning for our second fundraising sweepstakes.
All in all, this is a tremendous workload for a small organization.
Colorado continues to be a crossroads in the protection of wildlife and their habitats. There is an urgent need to use every means necessary to protect the resiliency of our forests and their ability to continue to provide the habitats and water quality that wildlife and people depend upon.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we are extremely reliant on our citizen-based monetary donations and a few grants. As an affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation, the CWF executive director, the CWF Board of Directors, and our Issues Committee, work hard on your behalf to conserve habitats so that you can continue to fish, hunt and watch wildlife in our great Colorado outdoors.
We need your continued support now more than ever. The Colorado Wildlife Federation would like to thank all of our past, current, and future supporters who are passionate about Colorado’s wildlife and their habitats.
Please visit the CWF website to get details on all these activities.
In addition to your donation, please invite friends and colleagues to make a contribution to support CWF!
You can schedule donations now at our website, or donate throughout the year any time you wish by going to:
The Colorado Wildlife Federation wishes you and yours’ a happy, safe and enjoyable 2022 outdoor adventures
CWF Board President