The following is a letter submitted by Colorado BHA in response to legislation pertaining to OHV management in Colorado.
December 16, 2015
Interim OHV Committee Members,
Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers would like to thank you for your continued efforts to improve management of recreational motorized vehicles in Colorado. As an organization that takes a keen interest in maintaining intact habitat through a variety of measures that ensure motorized vehicles are used responsibly and legally, Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is encouraged that the Colorado legislature is considering legislation that could aid in our self-policing efforts, through visible identification of some motorized vehicles.
While we are pleased that visible identification will be required for motorized vehicles used on public roadways under the legislation that was drafted by the interim committee, we’re disappointed that this visible identification provision will not also apply to those motorized vehicles permitted by Colorado Parks & Wildlife for trail use.
December 4, 2015
Re: Travel and Transportation Management RMP Amendment Comments
Bureau of Land Management
White River Field Office
220 East Market Street
Meeker, CO 81641
Below you will find comments from the Colorado chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (COBHA), a non-profit 501(c)(3) group of sportsmen and women who share the common goal of preserving traditional hunting and angling activities and conserving our wild public lands, waters and wildlife. Our mission is to ensure America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters. We appreciate this opportunity to comment on the BLM’s Travel and Transportation Management RMP Amendment for the White River Field Office.
The BLM White River Field Office (WRFO) encompasses a significant portion of the range for the largest mule deer and elk herds in Colorado, the White River deer and elk herds, in addition to smaller herd units in the Book Cliffs and Blue Mountain plateau. In addition, the WRFO includes substantial pronghorn populations, numerous waterways that support populations of Colorado River cutthroat trout and other native fish species, and significant habitat for three species of grouse (greater sage-grouse, dusky grouse, and Columbian sharp-tailed grouse). Many other species of wildlife with aesthetic and/or economic importance also inhabit the WRFO, including black bear, mountain lion, and numerous small game and nongame species.
The state of Colorado currently provides public hunting and fishing access on a mere 16 percent of its state trust lands, or approximately 480,000 of 3 million acres. This represents the lowest level of public access offered on state trust land in any state in the West.
Of the other 84 percent, much of the best hunting and fishing is leased to the highest bidder for exclusive recreational access, locking out most sportsmen. Contrast this with our federal public lands, nearly all of which are open to any sportsman with a valid license and a passion for adventure.
As hunting and fishing access is increasingly controlled by the wealthy and well-connected, public access only becomes more important. Lack of public access is the No. 1 reason hunters cite for giving up their sporting traditions. We can help reverse this trend by working to ensure that those of us who hunt and fish always have a place to recreate.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is working with a bipartisan set of elected leaders in the Colorado General Assembly to develop legislation that would expand public access on Colorado’s state trust lands. We need your help to pass it.
Sign this petition urging Colorado senators and representatives to support legislation that would improve public access on Colorado’s state trust lands and guarantee that every sportsman and woman has a place to hunt or fish.
November 12, 2015
Re: Fourmile Trail System Expansion
To: the Royal Gorge Field Office, Bureau of Land Management
Please consider the following scoping comments on behalf of the Colorado Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers in regards to the proposed Fourmile Trail System Expansion [DOI-BLM-CO-F020-2015-0064-EA].
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is a grassroots sportsmen conservation organization dedicated to serving as a voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife. We support land management plans that are based on sound science and which balance social demands with the biological needs of healthy habitats that support Colorado’s highly valued wildlife populations.
September 26, 2015
TO: Governor John Hickenlooper
Office of the Governor
200 E. Colfax Ave #136
Denver, Colorado 80203
RE: Comments on Colorado the Beautiful: 16 in 2016
Please consider the following comments on behalf of the Colorado Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers in regards to Governor Hickenlooper’s Colorado the Beautiful: 16 in 2016 trails plan.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is a grassroots sportsmen conservation organization dedicated to serving as a voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife. We support land management plans that are based on sound science and which balance social demands with the biological needs of healthy habitats that support Colorado’s highly valued wildlife populations. Accordingly, we felt compelled to comment on the current effort to identify 16 new trails to be planned, developed or enhanced in 2016.