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Colorado Parks and Wildlife Press Release
DENVER - Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commissioners will finalize recommendations regarding the new agency's mission statement and the composition of the merged board during its October meeting in Steamboat Springs.

Commissioners will be asked to approve changes to rafting regulations that would allow a wider range of acceptable personal flotation devices worn by commercial passengers on a regulated river trips at the October 14 meeting, which is scheduled to run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 3190 S. Lincoln Avenue, Steamboat Springs.

In addition, commissioners will receive an informational update on the Big Game Access Program, which leases more than 140,000 acres of private land big game habitat in southeastern Colorado for pronghorn and deer hunting. Now in its fifth year, the BGAP program has helped build relationships between wildlife managers and private landowners while expanding hunter access and improving CPW's ability to meet big-game management goals. The presentation will include results of a three-year evaluation of the program conducted by the Public Involvement Unit.

Also on Thursday's agenda is the presentation of a partnership award to the family of John Fetcher, a long-time resident, rancher and water manager in the Yampa Valley. Fetcher was instrumental in the establishment of both Steamboat Lake and Stagecoach Reservoirs and was proud to see the public recreation benefits of both reservoirs protected by the creation of state parks surrounding the impoundments. Parks and Wildlife Director Rick Cables will be presenting a plaque to the Fetcher family in appreciate for their longstanding support of the agency at the end of the morning session.

Thursday's Commission meeting will be followed by a workshop on Friday morning, at which Commissioners will receive reports from employee work groups that have been developing alternatives to implement the merger between Colorado State Parks and the Division of Wildlife into Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The Parks and Wildlife Commission meets monthly and travels to communities around the state to facilitate public participation in its processes. During the remainder of 2011, the Board has scheduled meetings in Burlington in November and Fort Collins in December.

The complete agenda for the September Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting can be found on the Commission web page at:

Members of the public who are unable to attend Commission meetings or workshops can listen to the proceedings through an Internet link. This opportunity is provided to keep constituents better informed about the development of regulations by the Board and how they are working with Parks and Wildlife staff to manage parks, wildlife and outdoor recreation programs administered by the agency.

To access the live audio feed during the meeting, click on the "listen to live audio" link at the bottom of the Commission webpage at:

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