New PWC to consider small game Regs, park plan

The new Parks and Wildlife Commission will be asked to approve 2012-2013 small game and migratory bird hunting seasons Thursday and Friday at its monthly meeting in Sterling, the agency announced in a news release.

The commission, whose members were announced July 9 by Gov. John Hickenlooper, will also elect a slate of officers during the meeting, which will be held at the Ramada Inn on U.S. Highway 6, according to the release.

The meeting will start at 1 p.m. Thursday and recess at 5 p.m. It will resume from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Friday.

This meeting will be the first of the new 11-member Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, which was established by a bill passed by the legislature and signed by Hickenlooper on June 4.

The bill specifies that the commission will be comprised of three members who are sportsmen or sportswomen, one of whom must be an outfitter; three agricultural producers; three recreationalists, including one from a non-profit, non-consumptive wildlife organization; two at-large members. A minimum of four commissioners must be from west of the Continental Divide. Members are expected to represent all parks and wildlife related issues, regardless of their affiliation, the release stated.

According to the release, Seven members of the former Parks and Wildlife Commission were reappointed by Gov. Hickenlooper:

— James C. Pribyl of Boulder was reappointed as an at-large member for a term expiring in 2013.

— John Singletary of Pueblo was reappointed as a representative of sports persons for a term expiring in 2014.

— Kenneth "Mark" Smith of Center was reappointed as an at-large member for a term expiring in 2014.

— Robert "Dean" Wingfield of Vernon was reappointed as a representative of agriculture for a term expiring in 2014.

— Christopher James Castilian of Denver was reappointed as a representative of parks and outdoor recreation for a term expiring in 2015.

— William G. Kane of Basalt was reappointed as a representative of parks and outdoor recreation for a term expiring in 2015.

— Gaspar Perricone of Denver was reappointed as a representative of sports persons for a term expiring in 2015.

Four new members, the release stated, will be joining the commission in Sterling:

— Jeanne Horne of Meeker was appointed as a representative of sports persons and outfitters for a term expiring in 2013.

— Robert William Bray of Redvale was appointed as a representative of agriculture for a term expiring in 2016.

— Michelle Zimmerman of Breckenridge was appointed as a representative of a non-profit organization that promotes conservation and recognizes non-consumptive wildlife use for a term expiring in 2016.

— James Vigil of Trinidad was appointed as a representative of agriculture for a term expiring in 2016.

In addition, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources Mike King and commissioner of agriculture John Salazar will serve as ex-officio members, according to the release.

July is traditionally the month when the state sets regulations for small game, furbearers and migratory birds for the coming year. The regulation-setting process considers changes to seasons and related provisions, including season dates, possession and bag limits and manner of take, the release stated.

In Colorado, pheasant and other upland birds such as grouse, quail and chukar are considered small game. Migratory birds include ducks, geese and other waterfowl, according to the release.

As part of the small game regulations process, the commission will discuss a potential novice hunter program aimed at recruiting new hunters into the sport.

In other business, the commission will consider changes in regulations for hunting and food storage in Golden Gate State Park, and changes in regulations pertaining to several State Land Board properties leased for hunting by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Commissioners will also receive presentations on Colorado Parks and Wildlife's pheasant habitat improvement program and a draft management plan for Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs, the release stated.

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