September 22, 2020

Colorado Wildlife Commission Recommends The Use Of Public Hunters For Elk Herd Reduction

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Back on July 15, 2006 I briefly informed readers that the Colorado Wildlife Commission had unanimously passed a resolution in support of the use of public hunters to reduce over populated elk herds in areas in the Rocky Mountain National Park as well as in and around the Estes Park area. The Rocky Mountain National Park authorities have recommended using park employees and hired “sharpshooters” with silencers, to do the deed probably at night at a substantial cost to taxpayers.

The resolution was a very positive sign that wildlife managers in Colorado saw things much differently than Rocky Mountain National Park authorities. A complete copy of the resolution can be found here (pdf file, pages 49 &50). Here’s the brief version taken from the resolution.

Therefore, be it resolved that:

1. The Colorado Wildlife Commission supports the use of appropriately licensed public hunters to affect any necessary reduction in the elk population in Rocky Mountain National Park and the Estes Valley;

2. The Colorado Wildlife Commission encourages the National Park Service to seek whatever legislative or regulatory authority it requires to support use of public hunters to reduce the elk population in Rocky Mountain National Park and the Estes Valley;

3. The Colorado Wildlife Commission directs the Division of Wildlife to work with the Department of Natural Resources and the Governor’s Office on contacting members of Colorado’s congressional delegation and seeking their support for the use of public
hunters to reduce the elk population in Rocky Mountain National Park and the Estes Valley, and;

4. The Colorado Wildlife Commission directs the Division of Wildlife to provide assistance to Rocky Mountain National Park in developing a program and supporting the use of public hunters to reduce the elk population in Rocky Mountain National Park and
the Estes Valley.

On Thursday, February 8, 2007 in Estes Park at the Holiday Inn Rocky Mountain Park, 101 S. St. Vrain, the Colorado Wildlife Commission will meet at 9:00 a.m. in a workshop to discuss elk management for the Estes Park region as well as the Rocky Mountain National Park.

A representative of the RMNP will be on hand as well, according to a press release issued by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Vaughn Baker, the superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park, will be there to give an update on the Park�s elk/vegetation management environmental impact study (EIS). The Park Service will make their decision on the alternatives presented in the EIS by May/June of this year.

While hunting is not allowed inside the RMNP, it is not prohibited in all National Parks. The Colorado Wildlife Commission, in their resolution concerning elk management, has instructed all parties within the DOW to work with state representatives in Washington, the Governor’s office and with Park Service personnel to begin the process needed to make hunting of elk possible should the park department change their mind on how elk will be reduced.

The Colorado Wildlife Commission directs the Division of Wildlife to work with the Department of Natural Resources and the Governor’s Office on contacting members of Colorado’s congressional delegation and seeking their support for the use of public hunters to reduce the elk population in Rocky Mountain National Park and the Estes Valley,

We can only hope that Colorado’s key players in this have enough support and clout, to assist in bringing the RMNP managers to their senses and follow the recommendations of the Commission. The workshop is open to the public but under normal procedures, public comment is not allowed.

I want to thank Paul Kaiser for the tip on this story. All had gone silent on this topic and I didn’t realize the workshop was coming up this week. Thanks, Paul.

Tom Remington

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