CPW Commission requires a valid hunting or fishing license to access all State Wildlife Areas and CPW-leased State Trust Lands | CraigDailyPress.com

CPW Commission requires a valid hunting or fishing license to access all State Wildlife Areas and CPW-leased State Trust Lands

Male greater sage-grouse. The largest grouse in North America, the greater sage-grouse is a species of state concern due to range-wide population and habitat declines.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife/Courtesy Photo

A valid hunting or fishing license will be required for everyone 18 or older attempting to access any State Wildlife Area or State Trust Land leased by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, beginning July 1, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The rule change was adopted unanimously April 30 by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission.

“By policy, state wildlife areas are acquired with hunter and angler dollars, and are intended specifically to provide wildlife habitat and wildlife-related recreation,” Southeast Regional Manager Brett Ackerman told the commission at its meeting. “This rule is aimed at curtailing non-wildlife-related use of these properties. 

At the meeting, Ackerman presented examples from across the state of the increasing use of state wildlife areas inconsistent with their purpose, including set up of temporary residences, vehicular use on big game winter range, vandalism, and other uses detrimental to wildlife and wildlife-related uses.

“There’s certainly an impact on staff and resources, potential public health impact, degradation of habitat and displacement of wildlife,” Ackerman told commissioners. “There is a pattern of non-wildlife related issues we’re seeing out there.”

Starting July 1, anyone entering a state wildlife area or state trust land leased by CPW must hold either a valid hunting or fishing license in Colorado.

Ackerman emphasized that, “As with all new regulations, especially one as far reaching as this, our policy is to first educate. Especially when talking to constituent users of state wildlife areas, we want to help people understand why we’re taking this action. We’re not seeking to catch people off guard and write them tickets. We want to curtail non-wildlife use of these properties and return them to their original intended purpose.”

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