Chris Jurney: Keep core economics
March 9, 2014
To the editor:
As an outfitter and resident in Moffat county and Craig, I believe some things can stay just the way they are without change, while other bigger issues need to be addressed. And while everyone is not a hunter or has that interest, Craig and Moffat County have always been a hunting destination for thousands of sportsmen and women each year and for many decades.
The current shifts in nonresident discrimination and exploitation as well as decreased wildlife populations have caused many of the hunting tourists of Craig/Moffat County to go elsewhere. Hunters are tourists, and even though they come in the fall to go hunting, they do, and would come back for, fishing and other outdoor recreation adventures. They spend their dollars here then go home, but the economic impact they have here is huge.
Politics has changed Craig/Moffat County from what is used to be to what it is today. The Yampa River is no longer a desired destination for anglers and the reduced deer populations takes our area away from being the "Deer Factory" that it was named and once was. There are many other outdoor attractions that are available here, but we would need to be careful not to exploit them so much as to ruin the appeal of the remoteness and peacefulness of the country. Moffat County is home to Colorado's top quality elk hunting destinations — units 1,2, 10 and 201 are at the top of the list for hunters wanting a big bull and thousands of people apply each year in hopes of drawing the once in a lifetime tag that it is. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife is currently going through its five-year season structure to shape hunting seasons and opportunities for the next five years. It's important that elected officials and interested individuals give input and come to common goals in achieving benefits for people and wildlife together.
The 2013 legislative session was not good for Colorado in general and many people have boycotted and continue to boycott Colorado and talk about it regardless of the propaganda that is put out. Going back to the positive aspects and the things that people used to come here for I believe is key to reviving and enhancing Craig/Moffat County. There would need to be a concerted effort to reinforce traditional values and attractions.