It is no secret that Colorado holds some of the finest hunting and fishing opportunities in the world. As an employed guide for both of these pursuits, I work directly with families, groups of friends and solo hunters/anglers from all over this nation and places beyond.
Colorado has some of the healthiest fisheries in the West, world-renowned mule deer hunting and nearly three times the number of elk as the next closest state.
A big reason is because we have the habitat to support these populations. In particular, we have great backcountry and wilderness areas that provide clean sources of water for the creeks and rivers and ultimately for the fish. We have vast mountainous terrain that provides necessary habitat in the spring, summer and fall for elk and deer (and so many other species), as well as quality winter range in our sagebrush habitats and lower grasslands. Quality habitat results in billions of dollars for our state from resident and nonresident hunters and anglers, every single year.
As the BLM office in Grand Junction drafts its new resource management plans for the Dominguez-Escalante NCA and the Uncompahgre Plateau, I hope it keeps these wild places protected well into the future. The relentless push of human encroachment could very easily tip the scales out of favor for the quality hunting and fishing opportunities thousands of people have been able to enjoy year in and year out.
Oil and gas development, ATV use and roads all certainly have their place, but I can’t stress enough the importance of allowing these activities to exist in as responsible a way as humanly possible. Keeping our wild lands wild and protected will provide so much more for so many more in the long run.