Discuss wildlife issues in roundtable

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is hosting an inaugural Regional Sportsmen’s caucus at 6 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Clarion Hotel, 755 Horizon Drive.

The meeting will offer all interested hunters and anglers the opportunity to discuss wildlife issues with managers, biologists and wildlife commissioners.

Also, two delegates will be selected to represent the region’s wildlife concerns at the Sportsmen’s Roundtable next month in Denver.

The statewide roundtable will provide hunters and anglers from the four regions of the state with direct access to agency officials.

“We have always had forums for public input, but this is a formal method for stakeholders to voice their ideas, opinions and concerns early in the decision-making process,” Northwest Regional Manager Ron Velarde said. “This gives our agency valuable input from our constituents that is critical for our wildlife management decisions and goals.”

The local caucuses are open to the public, but the 24 delegates and members of the Sportsmen’s Roundtable must be licensed and active anglers or hunters.

All participants in the roundtable serve a two-year term. Applications are available from Colorado Parks and Wildlife at http://www.wildlife.state.co.us.

Poll: Westerners want public lands to stay public

A bipartisan poll conducted for the 2013 Colorado College State of the Rockies Project indicates Coloradans put a great value in public lands, both as economic drivers and key components of their quality of life

The survey was conducted by Republican pollster Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies and Democratic pollster Dave Metz of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.

Ninety-one percent of the people polled agreed public lands such as national parks, forests, monuments and wildlife areas are an essential part of their state’s economy. Also, 71 percent oppose proposals to sell off public lands, and overwhelmingly reject arguments for the sale of public lands.

“Westerners see the permanent protection of their public lands as an economic imperative, and essential to their quality of life,” said Colorado College economist and State of the Rockies Project faculty director Walt Hecox. “Decision makers would do well to take notice and cure the often one-sided tendency to pursue development rather than protection that we’ve seen emerge over the last four years.”

Highlights from the 2013 Conservation in the West poll:

■ 79 percent believe public lands support their economy and enhance their overall quality of life.

■ 74 percent believe our national parks, forests, monuments and wildlife areas help attract high-quality employers and good jobs to their state.

■ 71 percent believe selling off public lands to corporations for development will hurt their economy and quality of life.

■ 52 percent perceive public lands to be a job creator in their state.

The survey also indicated Westerners lean toward renewable energy resources.


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