Wildlife officials want to hear what Steamboat has to say | SteamboatToday.com

Wildlife officials want to hear what Steamboat has to say

A rutting bull elk bugles near Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge in Northwest Colorado as he tries to sneak into a nearby herd. Over-the-counter licenses for hunting season will soon go on sale, as well as leftover limited licenses.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Outdoor enthusiasts in Steamboat Springs and Routt County are being encouraged to share their views about the future of Colorado Parks and Wildlife in a public listening session here Sept. 6.

The state agency, which manages both state parks and hunting and fishing opportunities in Colorado, seeks to rally from a legislative setback earlier this year that was being counted on to restore its financial stability.

Parks and Wildlife is an enterprise agency that depends heavily on fees to fund its programs, which also include  supporting and protecting habitat. During the last legislative session, a bill that would have allowed the Parks and Wildlife Commission to raise resident hunting and fishing fees and park fees to meet projected shortfalls passed the Colorado House with bipartisan support but was killed in the Senate Finance Committee by a 3-2 vote.

"Many in our community are involved from a personal level whether in a consumptive or non-consumptive manner; hunting, fishing, boating, kayaking, biking, hiking, wildlife watching, etc.,” said Area Wildlife Manager Kris Middledorf, who is based in Steamboat. “There are also many local businesses and commerce that benefit and rely upon outdoor recreation in the area.

“I would love to hear from people in Routt County and surrounding areas and get their feedback on sustaining outdoor recreation in Colorado,” Middledorf added. “Without their input, it's difficult to understand what they want." 

CPW Policy and Planning Supervisor Katie Lanter pointed out that as Colorado's population grows by an expected 2.5 million people in the coming 25 years, recreation areas and wildlife will be under greater pressure.

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To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1.

If you go:

What: Public listening session on the future of outdoor recreation hosted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6

Where: Colorado Parks and Wildlife Office, 925 Weiss Dr., Steamboat Springs

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