On December 21, Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus member Governor John Hickenlooper (CO) announced the appointment of Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Western States Director Andy Treharne to serve on the state’s Wildlife Habitat Stamp Committee.
Codified in statute by the General Assembly in 2006, the Wildlife Habitat Stamp initiative requires hunters and anglers purchasing an annual license to contribute $10 toward the state’s Habitat Protection Program and also provides Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) with valuable resources needed to secure public access to wildlife-dependent recreation. Each year, the Wildlife Habitat Stamp Committee – composed of appointed sportspersons, conservation representatives, agricultural landowners and one citizen-at-large – identifies priority projects and makes recommendations to the CPW Director and the CPW Commission intended to most effectively leverage approximately $6 million in funds generated through the program annually.
Pursuant to state statute, Habitat Stamp Program priority projects include those that conserve and protect big game winter range and migration corridors, improve access for hunting and angling, and conserve habitat for species of concern. Since the program was created in 2006, funds have allowed the state to conserve more than 173,000 acres of key habitat, secured nearly 80,000 acres of new public access and opened upwards of 25 miles of new fishing access throughout Colorado.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?