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DOW News Release 07/01/11

DENVER - The inaugural meeting of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Board will feature the election of officers for the board that will set regulations and policies for the new Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife as well as a two-hour discussion about the merger of the former Colorado Division of Wildlife and Colorado State Parks.

The two-day meeting will be held July 7 and July 8 at the Hunter Education Building, located at the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife's campus at 6060 North Broadway.

During the Board's afternoon session on Thursday, members will discuss a number of issues related to the function of the new, 14-member body, including the composition of the board, the process for input by the public and stakeholders, interaction with the transition team that is guiding the merger and other items.

Following election of officers and the establishment of the 2011 meeting schedule in the morning, the board will shift its attention to several wildlife regulations. The Board is scheduled to take final action on season regulations for small game, including the elimination of the additional permit required to hunt Greater prairie-chicken, expansion of the prairie-chicken hunting season on the eastern plains, and modification of units open to Greater sage-grouse hunting in western Colorado.

Also on the agenda is final action on migratory game bird regulations, including the establishment of hunt dates for 2011-2012 and designating waterfowl hunting zones for 2011 to 2015. In addition, the board is scheduled to vote in improving waterfowl hunting access at James M. Robb Colorado River State Park and Highline Lake State Park and increasing the bag limit on dark geese in the Pacific flyway portion of Colorado.

The Board will also consider a citizen petition requesting that archery be allowed as a manner of take for kokanee salmon during the snagging season in areas open for snagging. Members will also receive a briefing on the start of the annual review of fishing regulations.

In other matters, an update on the future of Bonny Reservoir State Park will be presented by John Geerdes, the southeast regional manager for parks and Dan Prenzlow, the southeast regional manager for wildlife. Bonny Reservoir is scheduled to be drained this fall to satisfy Colorado's obligations to deliver water to Kansas and Nebraska under the Republican River Compact.

Tom Morrissey, the state trails program manager, will provide an update on the OHV Enforcement Pilot Program run by the former Colorado State Parks.

Friday's meeting will be devoted to providing orientation to the members of the former Wildlife Commission and the former Parks Board about the operations of the agency, including the histories of Colorado State Parks and the Division of Wildlife, their missions, legal and statutory authorities, the regulatory process, strategic plans, field operations and other subjects.

The Parks and Wildlife Board will meet monthly and travel to communities around the state to facilitate public participation in its processes. The meeting schedule for the remainder of 2011 will be published after the meeting. The complete agenda for the July Parks and Wildlife Board's meeting can be found on the Wildlife Commission web page at:

Members of the public who are unable to attend Board meetings or workshops can listen to the proceedings through a link on the Division of Wildlife website. 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 Board webpage at:

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Board is a 14-member board appointed by the governor that sets policies and regulations for the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife.

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