FEATURED ACTION: Protect Colorado’s Parks and Wildlife


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House bill HB12-13171, which legislates the makeup of the powerful commission for the newly merged Parks and Wildlife Divisions, continues to grind its way through Colorado’s legislature, potentially wreaking havoc upon the state’s natural environment.

The negotiations of this bill center around who gets to make decisions about Colorado’s Parks and Wildlife Department- who the various stakeholders are who get seats on the commission. The latest version kicks off from the table a dedicated seat for a representative from the nonprofit, non-consumptive community (which was a hard-won seat on the Division of Wildlife’s past commission), while giving additional dedicated seats to special interest groups – groups who may or may not have public or parks and wildlife interests at heart – let alone long-term sustainability of Colorado’s wilderness areas.

The Rocky Mountain Chapter has taken a strong stand in support of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s merger transition Commission’s proposed new composition2 as stated in a letter written in December, 2011, by our Kirk Cunningham, RMC Conservation Co-Chair, to Mike King, Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.

In March’s e-newsletter, we urged you to contact your State House Representative. Unfortunately, this bill continues to survive in the conservative-controlled House, and is heading to the Senate, where its Senate sponsor supports this latest compromised commission. 

Tell your State Senator to support the original Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission’s recommended composition, which better balances the perspectives of the various stakeholders who care about state parks and wildlife populations.

Politicians like to keep things simple, giving voters sometimes oversimplified and even false choices, usually in an either/or format. In this case, it’s “jobs” or “wilderness”. Let’s not fall into that trap, but insist that Colorado’s leaders build a sustainable economy that fits within the ecosystem that supports it - not one committed to its destruction through the defunct and mythical growth model.

Thanks for all you do for the environment.

Mary Coday Edwards

Mary Coday Edwards
RMC Legislative Committee Chair

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¹For information on the bill, see RMC’s Legislative Tracker at

²See to read the “Final Recommendations of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission on Legislative Declaration and Agency Mission, and Commission Composition”


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