Use of drones a hot item on wildlife agenda

Banning drones for hunting, a new nonresident hunt-and-fish combo license and the introduction of a nocturnal tropical animal are among the items facing the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission this week.

Its meeting will start at 1 p.m. Thursday and resume Friday at the Parks and Wildlife Hunter Education Classroom, 6060 Broadway in Denver.

The commission is scheduled to finalize 2014 big-game-hunting regulations and vote on a wildlife-mitigation plan for the proposed expansion of Chatfield Reservoir near Denver.

The expansion, proposed by Front Range water interests, will double the 1,463-acre reservoir, flooding bike paths, trails and other recreational facilities owned by Parks and Wildlife. It also is expected the water level could fluctuate as much as 17 feet.

The agency is allowed only to approve or disapprove the wildlife-mitigation plan.

Commissioners are scheduled to vote on a proposed ban on the use of unmanned aircraft (aka drones) for hunting or scouting. Drones are becoming increasingly affordable and versatile.

One person has requested the commission approve possession of kinkajous, a house-cat-sized animal native to Central and South America. Although the animal normally is docile, the Centers for Disease Control said pet kinkajous in the U.S. can spread a potentially deadly roundworm.

Commissioners also will consider nearly two dozen other regulatory changes to the 2014 big-game regulations, including several new hunts in existing game units.

A complete agenda and schedule can be found online at http://www.wildlife.state.co, click on “commission.”


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