Colorado Parks and Wildlife urges hunters and anglers, or anyone who wants their voice heard regarding wildlife issues, to attend the next southeast region Sportsmen's Roundtable caucus in Colorado Springs on Thursday, July 14, at 6 p.m. at the Hunter Education classroom at Colorado Parks and Wildlife's regional office, 4255 Sinton Road.
"These roundtables are imperative for CPW to have a finger on the pulse of what our anglers and sportsmen of the region want to see in terms of regulations and resource management, and to better understand how this agency is perceived among a key stakeholder group," said Southeast Regional Manager Dan Prenzlow.
Several important topics are on the agenda, including a presentation by CPW's Policy and Planning section seeking sportsmen's input on funding the future of wildlife management and conservation in Colorado.
CPW anticipates budget shortfalls which could be offset by increasing resident license fees. The last increase occurred in 2005, and 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 natural resources are experiencing the pressure of a growing human population, increasingly fragmented habitat and declines in the number of young people involved in hunting," said Prenzlow. "This agency has done it's best to manage resources on an already shoestring budget, but now we need to find effective ways to increase revenue. We need to have this important discussion with our sportsmen and women."
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.
"Colorado big game hunting opportunities are arguably some of the best in the country and that is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the state's wildlife managers," Prenzlow said. "When you compare our resident license fees to states that do not provide the same quality opportunities, you might understand why an increase is necessary. Colorado hunters and anglers care deeply about our wildlife resources and we are prepared to make our case in front of them."
The roundtable leadership consists of four appointed members and two elected members. Twice each year, the Statewide Roundtable, which has representation for each region caucus, meets with the CPW Director and other members of CPW's leadership for detailed discussions about a variety of wildlife management challenges.
Prenzlow said the need for selecting region representation for the statewide caucus and feedback on a possible fee increase makes this meeting one not to miss.
Anyone interested in becoming an elected caucus representative is encouraged to attend the meeting. The election will be held the same evening with votes cast by attendees. Elected members can serve two-year terms and are expected to organize regional caucus meetings and be available to constituents, serving as their representatives for regional concerns during the statewide meetings.
Who: Sportsmen's Roundtable Caucus
What: Regular caucus meeting and election
When: Thursday, July 14, 6 p.m.
Where: Colorado Parks and Wildlife Hunter Education Classroom, 4255 Sinton Road. Call (719) 227-5200 for additional info
For more information about the Sportsmen's Roundtable, visit http://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/Roundtable.aspx