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Commission to vote on three new state natural areas slated
12/3/2011
Credit:
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Press Release
DENVER - The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is expected to approve three new State Natural Areas and affirm the former Parks Board's policy regarding the State Trails Committee during its monthly meeting on Thursday Dec. 8 in Fort Collins.

Commissioners are also expected to receive presentations regarding ongoing black bear research, mineral development potential at St. Vrain State Park in Longmont and recommendations for improving the private landowner voucher program. Following adjournment of the meeting in the afternoon, Commissioners will reconvene for a workshop to receive an analysis of Colorado park visitors, hunters and anglers and an update on the progress of the merger between the former Colorado State Parks and former Division of Wildlife.

The meeting is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Hilton Fort Collins, 425 West Prospect Street. On Friday morning, the workshop will continue with a discussion of the new agency's strategic priorities and vision for the future.

Since 1977, the Colorado Natural Areas Program has worked with interested landowners and volunteers to conserve the ecosystems, species, geology and fossils that are 'uniquely Colorado.' Commissioners will consider adding three new sites to the list of 89 natural areas that have been designated so far. The three include the 2,529-acre Miramonte Reservoir/Dan Noble State Wildlife Area, a critical redoubt of the Gunnison sage-grouse in San Miguel County 125 acres of riparian shrub lands and wet meadows at the Haviland Lake State Wildlife Area in La Plata County 2,240 acres of tall grass prairie and cottonwood forest along the Arikaree River in eastern Colorado owned by the State Land Board.

In other business, commissioners are expected to reaffirm a former Parks Board policy establishing the roles and responsibilities of the State Recreational Trails Committee and adopt several new changes to the committee's grant review process. The Recreational Trails Committee coordinates trail development projects with local governments and assists the Commission with the administration of a grant program that funds recreational various trail projects across the state. The grant program is a partnership among Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Great Outdoors Colorado, the Colorado Lottery, the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program and the National Park Service's Land and Water Conservation Program Fund.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is a 14-member board appointed by the governor. The Parks and Wildlife Commission sets regulations and policies for Colorado's state parks wildlife programs. The Commission meets monthly and travels to communities around the state to facilitate public participation in its processes. The complete agenda for the December Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting can be found on the Commission web page at: http://wildlife.state.co.us/ParksWildlifeCommission/Archives/2011/Pages/December8-92011.aspx.

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: http://wildlife.state.co.us/ParksWildlifeCommission/Pages/Commission.aspx.