April 22, 2020

CWF President’s Spring column

Welcome to the Spring CWF’s President’s column for Colorado Wildlife Federation’s members and supporters and National Wildlife Federation’s Colorado members.

First, I would like to express my hope that you and your families are safe, healthy and coping well with the limited travel and contacts during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) era. Stay healthy and get outdoors locally as much as possible. Spring fishing before runoff is a great way to get outdoors and have some fun – just stay a “social distance” away from another angler.

I also would like to express my thanks to all of you who follow and support  the work of CWF to help protect, conserve and enhance Colorado’s wonderful fish and wildlife resources, and recreational opportunities, in the face of Colorado’s population growth and increased demand on our resources.

CWF, as the state affiliate of NWF , works closely with the NWF Rocky Mountain Regional Center as the local advocate for a wide variety of wildlife and habitat conservation, public lands management, and conservation education issues, as well as other CWF projects and events.  We also are proud to participate in Colorado as NWF’s partner in the wonderful pollinator garden habitat certification program ( see blue tab for information).

CWF is continuing to make a difference in 2020 with our effective advocacy.  Here are a few highlights:

–Participating actively in discussions pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order on how to protect big game migratory corridors, some of which intersect with busy Colorado highways, federally managed public lands and private lands.

–Urging our entire Congressional delegation to support the important national legislation that would provide millions of dollars to Colorado for wildlife conservation of species of greatest conservation need and habitat improvement and restoration.

–Providing a strong voice for local wildlife like working with Vail community last year to make public comment  at the hearings to protect its iconic bighorn sheep herd and preparing to file an amicus brief in a lawsuit if not settled to protect the habitat; and helping to gain special conservation status for bighorn sheep in the Rio Grande National Forest.

–Advocating firmly in conjunction with our coalition Strongly supporting for better protections of wildlife and wildlife habitats in the Colorado  Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s new rulemaking process – we have great opportunity here.

–Helping to shape potential legislative issues surrounding the movement of wolves into Colorado (Colorado General Assembly is adjourned due to COVID-19 and expected to reconvene May 18 but will be focused initially at least on the budget, health care, etc.)

–Strongly supporting Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s staff proposed regulation to ban wildlife contest killing (coyotes, prairie dogs, etc.).

–Working with our coalition to push back on changes to the well-accepted, community produced 2015 greater sage grouse conservation plan that were made by the Bureau of Land Management and which jeopardize recovery of this species and many others that also depend upon the sagebrush habitat of northwest Colorado.

–Co-sponsoring an Hispanic Fishing Day – Dia de Pesca  and CWF’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman summer weekend annually. (Unfortunately, the Hispanic Fishing Day event scheduled for May had to be cancelled and we are planning to resume on a Saturday in October. There has not been a decision yet for the BOW event in mid-July.)

–For Bureau of Land Management’s quarterly oil and gas lease sales, CWF has been scrutinizing parcels to see which are in local oil and gas potential areas.  In our view these parcels should not be leased as they likely will not be developed but effectively preclude habitat conservation improvements or outdoor recreation.

Recently, in light of COVID-19 societal disruptions, CWF is experiencing a challenge to our usual flow of financial support, similar to many of you. CWF needs financial support from our members and supporters and from NWF’s Colorado members for our advocacy work.  CWF is the oldest, most effective wildlife conservation organization. we are a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity and therefore, your donations are tax-deductible.   The recent CARES Act (s.748)  has an incentive for charitable donations.  It includes an -above-the-line deduction that applies to all taxpayers for total deductions up to $300 beginning for 2020 tax year.

We also are pleased to announce that as part of our effort to improve the capabilities and breadth of CWF, the Board is requesting that we gain additional members for our important committees. Let us know if you are interested.

Consider becoming involved with CWF supporting us through donations and/or committee involvement to help safeguard what you love about Colorado. Give us a call or email.

Robin Knox, Board President     Suzanne O’Neill, Executive Director

Robin:  KnoxR@coloradowildlife.org     303-510-0420

Suzanne: cwfed@coloradowildlife.org    303-987-0400

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