Public officials in Northwest Colorado have said for months that the region needs a representative on the Colorado Wildlife Commission.
On Wednesday, local politicians -- including the Moffat County commissioners, Craig City Council members and State Sen. Jack Taylor -- got their wish when Gov. Bill Owens appointed Roy McAnally, of Craig, to the Wildlife Commission.
The commission sets policy for the Colo--rado Division of Wildlife.
Northwest Colorado has the state's two biggest elk herds. But until Wednesday's announcement, the closest wild--life commissioner was from Grand Junction.
Owens also appointed J. Bradford Coors, of Littleton, to the other opening on the nine-member commission.
"The Colorado Wildlife Commission is essential in protecting and preserving our state's great bounty of wildlife and natural resources," Owens said. "I am confident these appointees will be good stewards of these assets, and I appreciate their willingness to serve on the commission."
The governor appoints members to the commission based on a variety of criteria, including the political party of the appointee. No more than five of the nine voting members can be of the same political party.
McAnally was appointed to serve as a representative of agriculture or produce growers and as a Democrat. He replaces Robert Shoemaker, a Democrat from CaÃ±on City.
McAnally's term expires March 1, 2010.
McAnally said Wednesday that he was looking forward to being a wildlife commissioner.
"I'm excited about the prospects ahead of me," said McAnally, who is a real estate agent at American Northwest Realty in Craig.
Taylor said he, too, was excited about McAnally's appointment.
With a large portion of the state's big game, Taylor said the region needs representation on the commission.
"It is really critical that we have someone from over there," Taylor said from his offices at the capitol.
McAnally needs to be confirmed by the Colorado Senate before his appointment is official.
Taylor said he hopes to have McAnally confirmed before the legislative session ends in two weeks.
McAnally can still vote and participate in wildlife commission meetings without Senate confirmation. His first meeting is May 4 in Montrose.
Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or firstname.lastname@example.org.