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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Results of meetings with Colorado Parks and Wildlife re: Moose Hunting

Results of meetings with Colorado Parks and Wildlife



December 17, 2014

After much discussion, the various camps involved in the Brainard Lake moose hunting meetings agreed to disagree. This means that we did not reach any kind of workable consensus. The non-hunting citizens stuck to the need for a hunting safety zone around Brainard Lake, in addition to beefing up educational efforts. The hunter's groups only agreed to increased educational efforts.  They did not want any kind of hunting exclusion instituted at Brainard Lake. They felt that increased education would be enough to alleviate any further conflict between hunting and non-hunting users of the area.

Some of the options that were bandied about to resolve the situation:

A) Increased Education only (hunting regulations stay the same): increase signage and education of park staff, non-hunting visitors, and hunters. This would include increased training for staff, posting various signage about hunting and the ecosystem of Brainard, increased education for the hunters drawing tags for that area, increased education of non-hunting public via the various websites, adding variable message boards during hunting season, education about responsible dog walking practices, etc. No change to hunting regulations.

B) Option A + allow hunting across the entire Brainard Lake area ONLY on weekdays (weekends would be closed to hunting in the entire recreation area). This would limit the conflict between the majority of non-hunting visitors and the hunters since most of the visitors to the area come on weekends. This is termed a "temporal closure."

C) Option A + 1/4 mile "safety" zone around Brainard Lake, measured from the high water line of the lake. The campground would be in the "no-hunt" zone because it is an occupied area (meaning that it has structures and more or less continual use by people). This option would limit hunting from the most-visited areas on ALL days of the week. The citizen's petition asked for a 1 mile zone from the lake but I can tell you that's not workable from the standpoint of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. I can settle for 1/4 mile zone, although I would prefer 1/2 mile zone. This 1/4 mile zone is the plan that Colorado Parks and Wildlife initially proposed in response to this incident.

D) Hybrid = Options A + B + C. How would this work? Hunting would be allowed everywhere at Brainard Lake during the weekdays. On the weekends only there would be a 1/4 mile No-Hunt zone around the lake. Personally, I feel this could be workable BUT I also feel that it is overly-complicated and worry a bit about enforcement.

My preference for simplicity is option C, although I could live with option D if push came to shove. This is assuming that CPW can enforce a combined temporal and spatial safety zone.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is committed to getting this issue resolved this year and really does not want to revisit it next year. They have also received a tremendous amount of feedback both from concerned citizens and certain Colorado state senators who are pushing for a workable solution. No one wants a repeat of what happened this year, that much is clear. I was feeling good about CPW's commitment to come to a workable solution today and would like your input on these proposed solutions.

Parks and Wildlife wants your input on which of these options you would like to see implemented. First, please respond to the survey in the message that follows this one. Second, you can contact me via email (nancyr_artist@live.com) to voice your opinion and I will forward them along to Larry Rogstad at CPW.

ALL correspondence to CPW on this issue will be included in the final position paper and forwarded along to the CPW Commission for final approval, so please be courteous, thoughtful, and polite.

Thanks!

Nancy

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