Examples of Colorado Wildlife Federation’s
Accomplishments During Our 63 Years
We believe Colorado Wildlife Federation has been one of the best, if not the best, advocate for "All Things Wild" in Colorado since it was founded in 1953. Colorado Wildlife Federation prides itself in being able to look at all sides of an issue and advocate for balanced solutions that are in the best long term interest of our fish and wildlife resources. We have been a key advocate for fish and wildlife resources in projects and issues during these 62 years.
- In 2006, coauthored with Colorado Mule Deer Association the Wildlife Guidelines for Oil and Gas Development that was endorsed by 70 other organizations. This resulted in passage of H.B.1298-07, which directed the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to establish rules that provided a seat at the table for wildlife in regulating oil and gas development. CWF has continued to advocate wildlife protections on specific matters before the Commission under these new rules.
- Working to protect vulnerable and unique habitat on the top and base of the Roan Plateau and migratory routes during oil and gas development.
- Supported BLM’s preferred alternative to substantially reduce acreage available for commercial oil shale development in the Piceance Basin of northwest Colorado and to require proof that the resource can be developed in a cost efficient manner with reduced estimated water use. Highlighted concerns successfully in a trip to DC about leasing large acreage for unproven methodologies that would destroy habitat and use incredible amounts of water.
- Advocated for BLM to conduct landscape area planning in advance of any further leasing for oil and gas development in North Park and in South Park. BLM has developed a master leasing plan for North Park in its proposed resource management plan released in March. CWF, in conjunction with four other organizations, submitted comments to BLM on April 21, 2014 as to the proposed plan. The final plan was issued in summer 2015.
- BLM agreed to conduct master leasing planning (landscape level) for the public lands it manages in South Park. The BLM process began on June 1, 2015. See South Park photo on the homepage and click on for updates and background. During the past year before the process began, CWF met with other stakeholders to identify areas of common ground to reach a balanced future for this iconic area. Park County has been a leader in working with the stakeholders. Scoping comments were due July 31. See CWF's comments. CWF had submitted the application for master leasing planning in November 2011.
- Supported actively creation of the National Wildlife Refuge at Rocky Mountain Arsenal in 1992.
- Supported and helped shape the Habitat Stamp bill in 2005, the 2009 reenactment, and the 2013 reenactment.
- Opposes federal and state legislation that emerges from time to time that would give away or sell our federal public lands. In the 2015 session of the Colorado General Assembly, Senate Bill 039 was introduced, advocating concurrent jurisdiction between state and federal government for public lands managed by the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.
- Supported legislation for wilderness protection in many areas including adjuncts to Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Supported Senator Udall's bill to protect Browns Canyon with national monument and wilderness areas. Borwns Canyon was designated a national monument in February 2015.
- Supports strong implementation and retention of Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Farm Bill, and other important laws consistently and actively.
Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management
- Advocates the reintroduction of species that were formerly common in the state, when such reintroduction is practicable and realistic. Assisted in recovery plans for the lynx by hosting the conversations that brought those who were disgruntled with reintroduction “back to the table” with Division of Wildlife for discussions and solutions. Assisted in developing a state plan for management of wolves should they enter the state. Coauthored and published “Wolves in the Southern Rockies”, and sponsored three panel discussions to help educate the general public on the biology and sociological aspects of the gray wolf. Earlier, successfully developed a stakeholder process for resolution of predator control policies with the State Department of Agriculture, which resulted, in part, in legislation allowing management of wolves as a wildlife matter and not an agricultural issue.
- Attends Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission meetings regularly and comment on proposed rules and regulations affecting proper management of fish and wildlife.
- Led the effort to limit big game licenses in units 66 and 67, which was controversial, but it was at the forefront of discussions about "herd health" objectives statewide, involving wildlife managers, researchers, policy makers and the public in healthy debate over what these objectives should be for big game herds throughout the state.
- Marshaled strong support for decisive action on outbreaks of diseases in fish and wildlife populations such as whirling disease in trout and chronic wasting disease in deer.
- Led the battle to protect the Brush Creek area in Eagle County from resort development plans that at one time would have caused severe damage to the mountains, Brush Creek, adjacent wetlands, and a meadow. The battle was pitched at the local and federal level, and fought by CWF and our attorneys Luke Danielson and Kim Graber. It required almost 20 years to complete the mission. In 2001, GOCO provided funding for the purchase of the Brush Creek property, leading the way to the creation of what is now Brush Creek State Park, a piece of beautiful Colorado that is now a protected treasure. Without CWF's tireless leadership, this Park probably would never have been established.
- Advocated for much improved fish and wildlife mitigation plans on numerous water projects, which will continue as a major challenge as scarce water supplies face increasing demands. Beginning in 2010 CWF worked in conjunction with TU to significantly improve mitigation on the Moffat Tunnel and Windy Gap Firming Projects. We remain concerned that the project in Chatfield reservoir as planned would be very destructive to habitat and recreation in this highly valued park.
Public Land Access and Management
- Led the successful effort to retain access areas for fishing on the Big Thompson River through efforts of Issues Committee Co-Chair Walt Graul and Friends of the Big Thompson. Following the flood in September 2013, Walt has been working to gain meaninful restoration of the River. Updates are posted onthe homepage as the plannng progressses.
- Consolidated wildlife management of checkerboard lands in Cherokee Park in northern Larimer County. CWF strongly supported purchase of Circle Ranch with significant habitat and an excellent fishery. Our newsletter noted that this provided … “a valuable opportunity to knit together several contiguous parcels of land for wildlife management and recreation.”
- Participated in former Governor Romer’s Trails and Wildlife Taskforce resulting in the publication “Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind.”
- Served as the lead nonprofit to persuade the State Land Board to allow fishing and hunting on much of their lands. Keeping and gaining access for hunters, anglers, photographers, and other wildlife enthusiasts has always been a priority. Successfully brought public attention to the State Land Board historical practice of privately trading and conveying sensitive lands containing important wildlife and natural values, leading to the successful reformation of that board by State Constitutional Amendment as promoted by former Governor Roy Romer.
- Worked with the State and US Forest Service to develop and modify Colorado’s roadless rule to better protect 4.2 million acres of land managed by US Forest Service.
- Promotes proper use of off road vehicles and management of trails. Authored a resolution early on that was approved at an annual meeting of the National Wildlife Federation.
Volunteerism and Education
- Recruited youth to participate in the outdoors and volunteer projects.
- Participated in special days such as Colorado Wildlife in the City, gave school presentations to hundreds of grade school children, and helped with environmental education programs at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. CWF provided wildlife education programs in the schools throughout the Denver metro area, as well as the popular Wildlife in the City program in Denver city parks during the summers for many years. CWF also implemented NWF's EarthLink program here in Colorado, and distributed wildlife educational materials.
- Proudly formed the Metropolitan State University of Denver student chapter of CWF in February 2013. The group has worked to remove invasive noxious weeds in several public places in the Denver Metro area. Click on the photo on the homepage for updates. Currently, they are planning fall 2015 projects.