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RBC | The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission held their September meeting in Steamboat Springs last week. Longtime Northwest Regional Manager Ron Velarde was honored for his 47 years with the agency (see sidebar), Meeker area outfitter Jeanne Horne was recognized for her years of service on the commission, and the governor’s four new commission appointments began their first terms.
On Aug. 30, Governor John Hickenlooper appointed three new members from the northwest region of the state to the commission. Of particular local interest, 2016 Outfitter of the Year, Marie Haskett, owner and operator of JML Outfitters upriver, was appointed as a representative of sportspersons and outfitters. In effect, Haskett replaces Jeanne Horne on the commission. Horne is the owner and operator of J-Bar-H Outfitters, now out of Hamilton. Horne was originally appointed to a partial term on the commission in 2012 and reappointed to a full term in 2013. Commissioners are now limited to two terms under state law. She was the COA Outfitter of the Year for 2011.
Horne is held in high regard by her fellow commissioners who, among other accolades, gave her credit for often being tougher than the rest of them. She told the commission, “I leave this body with the utmost respect for the agency, its staff and its leadership.” Horne told the Herald Times that she will continue to run her business and that outfitting is her passion.
Haskett’s outfitting business is located on Papoose Creek, 30 miles east of Meeker. It was started by her grandfather, Glynn “Doc” Frasier, in 1961, and continued by her mother Maggie Haskett. Her own outfitting experience now exceeds 30 years. In addition to the drop camps she operates on eight different sites during the hunting seasons, she also offers trail rides, fishing and camping trips during the summer. She trains horses during the winter and raises most of her own stock. She says she starts working with foals “the day they hit the ground.” Haskett’s first term will expire in July 2021.
Haskett reported to the Herald Times in April that she has clients who date back to her grandfather, their kids and grandkids. She says, “I am fortunate that so much of my business is repeat business.” She is especially fond of what she calls her Horse Crazy Camp (not Crazy Horse Camp). Starting at age 10, kids come for six days to learn to ride and be responsible for all aspects of horsemanship, including feeding, grooming, saddling and exercising.
Also appointed last week by the Governor were Carrie Besnette-Hauser of Glenwood Springs and Jim Spehar of Grand Junction, both to vacancies created by resignations. Their first terms will expire in July 2019. Hauser is president of Colorado Mountain College (CMC), is an avid outdoorswoman, and is a member of the board of American Rivers, a national conservation nonprofit. CMC is well-known for its sustainability and outdoor education programs. Spehar is a former Grand Junction mayor and Mesa County commissioner. Both Hauser and Spehar were appointed as representatives of public outdoor recreation participants and parks resource users.
In addition last week, the governor appointed Marvin E. McDaniel, Jr., of Sedalia, as an at-large commission member who will have a four year term. McDaniel is an executive vice-president, chief administrative officer and group president of utilities with Xcel Energy.
The CPW Commission is a citizen board, appointed entirely by the governor, which sets regulations and other policies for Colorado wildlife and parks programs. The commission is comprised of 11 voting members that include three who are representatives of sportspersons, at least one of whom must be an outfitter. Other members are three agricultural producers, three recreationalists, one of whom must be associated with a non-profit, non-consumptive wildlife organization, and two at-large representatives.
Regardless of the particular interests each member is appointed to represent, under state law, all 11 are expected to consider the diversity of park, wildlife and outdoor recreation issues throughout Colorado and be committed to the long-term financial stability and sustainability of the agency. A minimum of four of the 11 must reside west of the Continental Divide.
Current agricultural producer representatives on the commission are Robert Bray of Redvale, James Vigil of Trinidad and Dean Wingfield of Vernon. Wingfield is also a Yuma County commissioner. Other current members are, for sportspersons, John Howard of Boulder and Alex Zipp of Pueblo; for recreation and parks users, Michelle Zimmerman of Breckenridge; and as an at-large member, Dale Pizel of Creede.
In addition, the executive director of the Department of Natural Resources, now Bob Randall, and the commissioner of agriculture, now Don Brown, serve on the commission as ex-officio members. Randall was represented by Assistant DNR Director for Parks, Wildlife and Lands Madeleine West, and Brown was represented by in Steamboat by Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Chris Wiseman.
The commission approved final regulations governing fee waivers, discounts, and sponsorships related to park products and state wildlife area access permits; regulations regarding the use of parks and outdoor recreation lands; and regulations governing the use off-highway vehicles including allowing passengers on vehicles designed to carry passengers, as long as they do not interfere with the safe operation of the OHV.
Draft regulations forwarded to final reading at the November 16-17 commission meeting in Yuma included adjusting nonresident big game license fees according to the Consumer Price Index and adjusting commission rates applicable to the sale of licenses by agents; exemption trapping of nuisance furbearers and small game wildlife while incorporating new industry best management practices in the interest of animal welfare; and the field trials and training of hunting dog chapter.
Furthermore, the commission reviewed issues that have arisen in general and fishing regulation chapters to be considered in November including the possible implementation of an antler and horn collection closure on public lands west of I-25 from January 1 through April 30 annually. The commission requested that the option of requiring a license for antler collection be prepared for consideration. Also forwarded was a citizen petition for allowing the use if sling bows in harvesting fish species that can currently be taken using archery equipment.
Advocates for this use of sling bows argue that they would give fisherman another means to enjoy the sport of bow fishing, that it’s a legitimate way to remove invasive species, and that its portability would facilitate use while traveling.
Also sent forward for November was authorizing special hunt seasons and licenses to control “conflict or nuisance turkeys” to be set by the director.
After considerable discussion, the commission approved the draft mitigation plan advanced by the Northern Water Conservancy District’s Northern Integrated Supply Plan involving the transfer of water from the Upper Colorado River basin to the Poudre River basin; heard the annual report on CPW’s strategic plan; and heard an update and special project report from Great Outdoors Colorado.
Commission meeting information and agendas can be found at cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/pages/commission.aspx.