Outside Briefs, July 9, 2016
Roundtables will focus on finances
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is seeking sportsmen’s input on funding the future of wildlife management and conservation in Colorado. Hunters, anglers or anyone who would like to learn more about the financial challenges facing the state’s wildlife management agency is invited to attend a discussion with CPW representatives at 6 p.m. on July 18 at Mountain Valley Bank, 400 Main Street in Meeker.
The Northwest Region Sportsmen’s Roundtable caucus in Grand Junction on Wednesday will also discuss these issues. The caucus will be at Colorado Mesa University in the Meyer Ballroom in the University Center.
CPW anticipates budget shortfalls that could be offset by increasing resident license fees. The last increase occurred in 2006 after legislative approval the year before. Since 2009, CPW has cut or defunded 50 positions and cut $40 million from its operating budget. Wildlife managers caution that additional cuts are inevitable without an increase in revenue.
“Colorado’s wildlife faces more pressure now than ever before, including a growing human population, increasingly fragmented habitat and less young people involved in hunting,” Northwest Regional Manager Ron Velarde said. “We have already undergone significant belt-tightening and now we need to find effective ways to increase revenue. We need to have this important discussion with hunters and anglers.”
Velarde added CPW’s wildlife management programs are funded by user fees, generated primarily by the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. Unlike other state agencies, CPW does not receive general fund revenue.
Currently, a limited elk license for resident adults costs $46. Resident youths pay $10.75 for limited deer, elk and pronghorn licenses. Limited deer license and pronghorn licenses are $31 for resident adults.
Turkey license deadline is Thursday
The application deadline for the fall limited turkey licenses is Thursday. The season begins Sept. 1.
Hunters can apply online, by telephone or at CPW offices. Applications are also available at license agent locations around Mesa County.
For more information on the fall turkey hunting season, go to http://cpw.state.co.us.
CPW will sponsor four special-access hunts
Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Western Colorado Wildlife Habitat Association is sponsoring four limited special-access archery hunts in the Grand Valley this fall.
The archery hunts will take place at Tilman Bishop State Wildlife Area and the Orchard Mesa Wildlife Area. Because of ongoing habitat work on the property during the hunting season, the Grand Junction Wildlife Area is not on the list for 2016.
Applications and information are available at CPW’s NW Region office, or by calling 970-255-6100.
Hunters must drop off or mail applications to the CPW Northwest Region office by Aug. 1 at: Archery Hunts, 711 Independent Ave., Grand Junction, 81501.
Drawings for the hunts are on Aug. 4.
Two of the hunts will take place during the regular archery season.
Before applying for this hunt, an archery deer license must have been drawn for GMU 41.
The other hunts will occur during the regular rifle seasons; however, a rifle deer license must have been drawn for GMU 41 before applying.
Only archery equipment is allowed during each of these hunts.
For more information about hunting in Colorado, visit http://www.cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/hunt.aspx.
Family Cast and Blast event is July 16
Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in cooperation with the Northwest Colorado Outfitters Chapter, Colorado Mule Deer Association, Safari Club International and the Wyman Museum, will host a free, family Cast and Blast from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 16 at the Wyman Museum in Craig.
The activities will be taught by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers and volunteers, and anyone interested learning the basics of shooting, archery and fishing is encouraged to sign up.
All fishing equipment will be available free of charge, however participants can bring their own fishing equipment. For anyone 16 or older, a current fishing license is required to participate in the fishing event.
Firearms and archery equipment will be provided and participants are asked not to bring their own.
A free lunch will also be served.
For questions about the family Cast and Blast, contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Meeker Service Center at 970-878-6090.
Operation Dry Water a success in Colorado
Marine law enforcement in Colorado just wrapped up a successful Operation Dry Water effort, which is the nationwide crackdown on people boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff at 18 state park reservoirs and rivers participated in the event, contacting 1,082 vessels, 2,593 boaters, issuing 55 citations and 291 safety warnings from June 24-26. There were no BUI arrests.
In addition to increased patrols, parks increased education efforts at boat ramps, marina’s, entrance stations and Aquatic Nuisance Species inspection stations.
“Even without BUI arrests, the event was still a success,” said Kris Wahlers, Colorado’s Boat Safety Program manager. “When we contact almost 2,600 boaters paying special attention to the consumption of alcohol with no BUI arrests, it goes to show that our education and outreach efforts are working and people are choosing safer alternatives to drinking and boating.”
Operation Dry Water was launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, under a grant from the United States Coast Guard. Nearly one of every five recreational boating fatalities are directly related to boating under the influence.