Howdy CMDA Members and Friends:
Half the year is gone already and the sun is heading south again. Hard to believe that hunting season is two months away.
Gun Bills: There has been a lot going on behind the scenes since the Colorado Legislative session closed. The Colorado Sheriffs Association filed suit against the State over the Gun Bills. The CMDA has joined in the suit along with a large number of organizations in support of the lawsuit. The magazine ban goes into effect July 1st. We hope there will be court ordered injunction prior to that date stopping the ban. We’ll wait and see.
Northern Wolf Delisting: The CMDA and Big Game Forever have joined forces in hosting our annual banquet this August 10th, 2013. Big Game Forever (BGF) has leaded the fight on the wolf delisting for the past three years. If you recall, BGF joined with us on the push back against the USFWS proposal to introduce the Northern Gray Wolf into the Baca National Monument. BGF’s membership e-mail blast helped turn the tide and we got the Feds to back down. Denny Behrens was back in Washington DC four weeks ago, along with Ryan Benson of BGF and a number of key Sportsmen from the wolf states, to meet with Congressmen and Senators who played a large part in getting the delisting pushed through. On Wednesday of that week, Ryan, Mark Johnson, of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association and Denny met with Gary Frazer Assistant Director of the ESA. Director Frazer assured the group the USFWS wanted and will proceed with the delisting of the Northern Gray Wolf and that management of the wolf would be given over to the states. On June 7th of this year, the USFWS made the announcement. There is still a year of public comment before the authority is given over to the states. It behooves Colorado sportsmen to be diligent and continue to make comment, supporting the delisting. BGF and the CMDA will be handing out post cards, which enable Sportsmen to fill out and place into a box for mailing. So watch for the posters and fill out the cards. It is very important that Colorado Sportsmen are heard from.
Western Congressional Caucus Hearing: Forest Health, Wildfires, and Wildlife Protection
On May 2nd, Denny Behrens testify before the Western Congressional Caucus on behalf of Colorado Sportsmen. He presented testimony, that” while control burns are a major management tool in habitat restoration, Timing restrictions, air quality, high winds and low humidity are all factors that limit their effectiveness, and that there is always the danger of the fire blowing up and getting out of control. The mismanagement of our National Forest has lead to the beetle outbreaks and the devastation of our public and private lands Pine Forest. Without a lifting of government restrictions, there is no way to harvest and remove the dead timber. The consequences of the no-action by the Forest Service, endangers Coloradans, their properties, and our wildlife to the threat of catastrophic wildfires. The Hayman Fire killed 70% of the fish in the South Platte River because of the slit and ash deposit that washed into the rivers after the landscape was left barren. There is no way to asset the impacts on wildlife populations. No Claim adjustor surveys the damage and allows for a claim to be turned in to off set the losses. Hunting, Fishing and Tourism, within the burned out areas, suffer greatly during the short term, and in some cases could take years to recover, as is the case with the natural fishery of the South Platte. Our Government spends billions of dollars overseas to help foreign countries build infrastructures, roads, power plants, military defenses, and yet our agencies that are charged with managing our public lands have their budget cut every year. The BLM is asking the CMDA to pay for their habitat work. When are we going to re prioritize some of those billions and fund the management of our public lands?”
Denny received a letter from the Chairman of the Western Congressional Caucus. Portion of that letter: We will continue to monitor the issues discussed at the hearing. Please keep the Congressional Western Caucus posted on any developments and we look forward to working with you and the Colorado delegation to ensure we keep our forests thriving for generations to come.
Again, thank you for your efforts.
Member of Congress
Chairman, Western Congressional Caucus
It seems ironic that a month ago members of Congress were here in Colorado listening to testimony about beetle-killed forest and the threat of major wildfires. And today Southwest Colorado is under siege by out of control fires. Some Forest Service Officials say, “Let it Burn”, “that it’s good for the habitat.” Well is it, maybe so in the long run, ten years from now. But what happens to the elk, mule deer, bears, moose, bighorn sheep and Lynx. There are already reports that elk have been caught up in the 50mpr fire and have been consumed by the fire. We have just had our fawning and calving birth. The heavy smoke and fire is taking it toll on all the wildlife trapped within the firestorms. The Forest Service has taken the position to monitor the fire and let it burn. They are protecting structures, but the impact of the fires is devastating the rural economies. This summer tourism period is the lifeline for many Small Town businesses. Mom and Pop sporting Good stores, motels, restaurants, gas stations, outfitters doing summer pack trips, all have been hit hard because of the fires. They are losing their incomes due to the lack of responsible leadership in assessment of these fires. In these times of turn down economy Coloradans can’t afford to have this “Let it Burn” policy. The forest service has posted a health warning that can be view at the following site. (westforkfirecomplex.blogspot.com/p/test-page-2.html). Please pray for rain, that the Lord would send the monsoons early, and that these fires would be put out. Pray for the families that have suffered lost during due to the fires. And when the smoke clears, take a weekend trip, or mini vacation and go visit these communities and spend some money to help revitalize their incomes. It’s what Western Colorado folks do.
CMDA/Big Game Forever Banquet & Fundraiser:
August 10th 2013 is the date of our annual banquet. This year we are co-hosting the banquet with Big Game Forever. Country Western Star and Life Long Sportsmen Gary Morris (Wind Beneath My Wings) will join us on stage. Big Game Forever and the CMDA will be hosting a luncheon “Wolf Legislative Update”. You won’t want to miss this important around table discussion about the Wolf Delisting and how will Colorado prepare for the migration of the wolf into our state. You can get your tickets on line at coloradomuledeer.org.
Come bring the family for a great day of valuable information, Comradery, entertainment, and support for the perpetuation of Colorado’s Mule Deer Herds. See you there!!