Friday, April 20, 2012

Action Alert: Tell your Senator to improve CO Parks & Wildlife bill

Parks and Wildlife Commission bill undermines Colorado outdoor recreation

The bill that will determine the composition of the newly-merged Colorado Parks and Wildlife is now before the Colorado Senate.  This commission will govern Colorado's State Parks, which received over 12 million visitors last year.  Visitation in state parks continues to increase both in Colorado and nationally and helps contribute to our $12 billion Colorado outdoor recreation economy.

Unfortunately, the bill as written has some serious problems. Recreation and parks is severely under-represented in the version that passed the Colorado House yesterday. On an eleven member commission, only two seats will be
dedicated to recreation. This is unwarranted and not proportional to the  usage of our state parks.

Right now the bill proposes an eleven member board with: 3 sports persons with knowledge of wildlife issues (one of which is dedicated for a commercial hunting outfitter); 3 members who are agricultural producers; 3 members
representing outdoor recreation (one with motorized trails experience and one representing a non-profit wildlife conservation organization); and two at-large seats. 

Please contact your state senator and Senator Gail Schwartz, chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, and let them know:

1) CPW commission needs to increase representation for recreation on the commission to four seats - an important and growing component that is vital to quality of life in a fast-growing Colorado.

2) Recreation seats should represent all recreational users - there should not be special rec seats for special interests (currently one of the two rec seats is dedicated to motorized trail users and the other for a non-profit
wildlife conservation organization).

3) Non-profit Wildlife conservation organizations have an important voice and should certainly have a seat on the commission, but it is not fair to call this a recreation seat.

Bill online here.

Senator Gail Schwartz, (303) 866-4871,

Find you Colorado Senator at by typing your address into the box in the upper right of the website.

Thanks for making your voice heard!