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February 2, 2021

Letter from the CWF President February 2, 2021

A Letter from Colorado Wildlife Federation’s President and Board Chair, Robin Knox  

2021 – A Look to the Future

As we enter the second month of 2021- hopefully a year of recovery – Coloradans have experienced a wide gamut of emotions and experiences the past 11 months that were, and still are, extremely challenging. Our resilience, fortitude and patience have been sorely tested. Our hearts go out to those of you who have experienced loss as a result of the pandemic or wildfires that have ravaged Colorado. We hope that you are currently healthy and staying safe at home.

The Colorado Wildlife Federation (CWF) is grateful for the efforts of all the first responders, firefighters and Parks and Wildlife staff that have worked so hard to protect homes and, critical CPW structures and wildlife habitats. We are also grateful that the beautiful Colorado out-of-doors offers a continuing relief from the pandemic movement restrictions.

Despite the disruption of life as usual, CWF has been, and will remain, actively involved in 2021, fulfilling our mission “to advocate and educate for the conservation of Colorado’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats for all.” Our advocacy work began in January with first Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting that discussed the potential actions related to the development of a wolf reintroduction plan, as mandated by the voters through passage of Prop. 114. The General Assembly’s 2021 session will resume beginning in mid-February.

However the pandemic and COVID-19 vaccine distribution continue to affect how Coloradans interact and meet with one another, CWF will continue to be actively engaged in the pressing wildlife management issues occurring across the state:

·       Making public comment in Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission meetings on policy and management approaches for state wildlife area access, and management; development of the wolf reintroduction plan; involvement on a sportspersons’ access workgroup, and other issues as they arise

·       Continuing to oppose any development project on an East Vail parcel that would destroy vital bighorn sheep habitat in its severe winter range

·       Participating on the steering committee for Outside 285 corridor master planning to safeguard essential wildlife habitats and direct trails to areas without sensitive wildlife habitats

·       Working on an amicus brief in a lawsuit through the University of Michigan student law clinic in conjunction with NWF to safeguard specific sensitive wildlife areas that were not protected in the Rio Grande National Forest plan

·       Addressing problems with Bureau of Land Management’s proposed quarterly oil and gas leases during the pause ordered by the Biden administration and recommending improvements to the 2019 draft BLM Resource Management Plan for Eastern Colorado with emphasis on protecting South Park wildlife and habitat to safeguard specific sensitive wildlife areas

·       Participating in Colorado Outdoor Partners and its role in the coming regional partnerships which will focus on balancing wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation on public lands

·       Supporting the development of outside funding for the development of the wolf management plan to lessen the impact of potential expenditures from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife license fee cash funds.

Colorado is at a crossroads in the protection of wildlife and their habitats. The tremendous increase in outdoor recreational activity brought about by Colorado’s rapid increase in population and the need to get outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic have created even greater needs for protection and conservation of our wildlife resources here in Colorado through the work that is supported by CWF.

As a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization, we are extremely reliant on our citizen-based donations and grants we are able to garner. As an affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation our Executive Director, our Issues Committee, and our Board Members work hard on your behalf so that you can continue to hunt, fish, wildlife watch, and garden with wildlife in mind in our great Colorado outdoors.

CWF’s annual raffle for the special Colorado Governor’s elk-hunting license is underway, culminating in the drawing on June 19. It is authorized by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and proceeds benefit big game habitats in Colorado. This is one of the CWF’s fundraisers and we hope you will participate by purchasing an on-line entry.

We need your continued financial support now more than ever. The Colorado Wildlife Federation thanks all of our past, current, and future supporters who are passionate about Colorado’s wildlife and their habitats.

As a supporter, you can purchase elk license raffle tickets, or make a donation throughout the year anytime you wish by going to:

www.coloradowildlife.org  

The Colorado Wildlife Federation wishes you a safe, healthy and outdoors 2021!

Robin Knox, Board Chair

[email protected]

 

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