CSF Joins Groups Opposed to Citizen Petitions in Colorado

On November 4, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) joined a host of sportsmen’s organizations in signing two letters expressing opposition to citizen petitions that will come before the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Commission at their meeting in Burlington on November 13.

The first petition on the agenda includes a request that the CPW Commission use its regulatory authority to ban the use of traditional lead ammunition for hunting. However, supporting documents submitted in support of the petition fail to cite any evidence of population-level impacts to the state’s fish and wildlife resources caused by traditional ammunition and also greatly underestimate the effect that a ban would have on consumers’ access to readily available, affordable ammunition throughout the state. Furthermore, the petition fails to recognize the role that hunting and recreational shooting play in supporting fish and wildlife through the American System of Conservation Funding, which serves as the primary mechanism to generate critical conservation dollars for state agencies such as Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Click here to view the letter.

The second petition before the Commission was initiated in response to a legal moose harvest at the U.S. Forest Service’s Brainard Lake Recreation Area during archery season. Subsequent to a licensed hunter shooting a moose in the area during the established hunting season in September, a group of non-consumptive public land users who witnessed the event have asked the CPW Commission to prohibit hunting within a one-mile radius of the Recreation Area. Granting this petition based on the whims of public land users who do not wish to be exposed to hunting would fail to acknowledge the critical role that sportsmen and women have played in establishing a healthy moose population in Colorado and would unnecessarily limit hunting access in an area that has been enjoyed by hunters for many years. Using state wildlife management authority to close off federal lands that are open to hunting would set a dangerous precedent and imply that hunters should be held to a different standard than other public land users when it comes to accessing the outdoors. Click here to view the letter.

Colorado state law provides any interested person with the right to petition the Parks and Wildlife for the issuance, amendment or repeal of a rule. Pursuant to the Commission’s policy, petitioners will present evidence of the need for a rule change and the Commission will determine whether to support, reject, modify or accept a petition for further consideration, in which case the petitioners will be asked to work with agency staff to develop regulatory language and any other supporting materials to be considered at a later date.

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Recently, Virginia has proposed legislation that would make the punishment for poaching, in their state, a 1-5 year prison sentence through HB-449. Poaching undermines the social acceptance of hunters, jobs, recreation, local and state economies, and conservation efforts. How should poachers be punished?

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