Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Vice Chair Ivan James Receives Award

Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers recognized chapter Vice-Chair/Legislative Liaison Ivan James for “Decades of Selfless Leadership and Untold Contributions of Time and Effort To Wildlands and Wildlife Preservation Efforts.” After retirement Ivan spent 13 years on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Bowhunters Association, the last 11 as Vice-Chairman for Legislation. Each of these years he worked on from seven to eleven bills.

Ivan was also an early BHA member and attended the first BHA North American Rendezvous in Missoula during 2012, where he was one of four distinguished panelists—including BHA founder Mike Beagle, future BHA President and CEO Land Tawney, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge Manager Rick Potts—sharing insights on “How to Present at Legislative and Fish & Wildlife Meetings.” During 2017 Ivan joined the Colorado BHA chapter Board/Executive Leadership Team as Vice-Chair/Legislative Liaison.[1]

Ivan at Rendezvous with a much younger Land Tawney.

Some of Ivan’s many notable accomplishments include assisting in the development and passage of HB07-1298 and HB07-1341; testifying against and helping to postpone indefinitely HB08-1137, a bill to negate any further property acquisition by the Division of Wildlife; negotiating amendments to improve a number of bills, helping to pass HB08-1069, the OHV Enforcement Act; consolidating sportsmen support for SB09-235, the Habitat Stamp Improvement and Renewal Act.

During his hunting career Ivan has had the opportunity to bowhunt 9 of the 10 big game species extant in Colorado and has been fortunate to bowhunt in 10 states and two foreign countries, including three Canadian provinces. His most memorable backcountry hunts were in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana, Colorado’s Weminuche Wilderness, and northwest of the Alaska Range near Denali/Mount McKinley. 

“When that first arrow out of a recurve sailed over a 10-point buck over 40 years ago, I became a bowhunter for life, but have also done some rifle and considerable muzzleloader hunting,” Ivan said. He has hunted a dozen states, Africa, and three Canadian provinces for big game, including all of the North American deer species except mountain caribou. He’s also a Level II Certified Archery Instructor.

Ivan has a B.S. in civil engineering and M.S in water resources engineering from the University of Kansas and completed advanced graduate work in environmental engineering at Harvard. He spent over 40 years with the U.S. Geological Survey in their Water Resources Division, including assignments in Kansas, Virginia, Massachusetts and Colorado, hunting and fishing whatever was available along the way.

“The first Backcountry Hunters & Anglers North American Rendezvous was held in March 2012 at Fort Missoula in Montana, and Ivan was there,” explained Colorado BHA Co-Chair David Lien. “Not long after that inaugural Rendezvous I had the opportunity to camp and flyfish with Ivan on the San Juan River in New Mexico and I’ve worked with him on hunting-angling-conservation issues ever since. There is no one more knowledgeable and committed to helping pass legislation in Colorado to protect and perpetuate our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.”

Ivan has two sons (both aerospace engineers) and lives north of Colorado Springs (between Black Forest and Monument), but also has a farm in Kansas. During 2021 he was recognized in The Holton Recorder (“Wildlife Habitat Award” in the 2/10/21 issue, p. 6A) for establishing wildlife habitat on his land near Circleville, Kansas.

For additional/related information see:

-“Wildlife Habitat Award-James honored for establishing wildlife habitat on his land near Circleville.” The Holton Recorder: 2/10/21, p. 6A.

-Also see:

-“Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Appoint Legislative Liaison And Habitat Watch Volunteer.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 5/13/17.

-First (2012) BHA North American Rendezvous photos, at Fort Missoula in Montana: Day 1 (3/3/12):

-First (2012) BHA North American Rendezvous photos, at Fort Missoula in Montana: Day 2 (3/4/12):

-Upcoming Colorado BHA Events:

-Check out the BHA Take Action Center to stay engaged on legislation in your area. 

-Colorado BHA Habitat Watch Volunteer (HWV) program information.

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[1] “Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Appoint Legislative Liaison And Habitat Watch Volunteer.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 5/13/17.

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