Filing 07/30/2014 Basis and Purpose Chapter w-9 Wildlife Properties Basis and Purpose



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FILING - 07/30/2014

Basis and Purpose

Chapter W-9 - Wildlife Properties

Basis and Purpose:
Atwood SWA

After the completion of the Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) a very limited difference between hunter satisfaction and harvest was observed on Atwood SWA. Therefore, restrictions have been removed to allow for increased hunter opportunity under the recommended language.


Jackson Lake SWA

These regulations result from the Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) study on Jackson Lake SWA (and others). These regulations establish minimal restrictions in order to reduce safety issues and conflict among hunters at times of high use. In addition, these regulations have been made consistent with other wetland-type SWAs in the area, such as the Hamlin tracts of Elliott SWA, in order to reduce confusion for public hunters and improve management efficiency.


Brush/Jean K. Tool SWAs

With the completion of the Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) study, regulations restricting access and requiring hunters to have a reservation during duck season for Jean K Tool and Brush SWAs have been removed. These properties are heavily used by hunters seeking opportunity for all game species. The BRP study showed little evidence of a need for restricted access during the regular duck season. Consequently, BRP access restrictions have been removed, returning the regulations on these two properties to their status prior to the BRP.


Frank SWA

The Frank SWA is located approximately two miles east of I-25 just west of the Town of Windsor and consists of five conservation easements that are monitored and maintained for public access for hunting, fishing and wildlife-related recreation. A local gravel company owns a significant portion of the land including the gravel rights on the east side of the county line which includes ponds that are currently open for public fishing. This company has expressed their intent to continue mining operations on that portion of the SWA just north of the Poudre River and east of the Larimer-Weld county line starting August 1, 2014. There is also a gravel mining operation that is currently active north of the Poudre River, west of the county line. The language of the conservation easements does not prohibit gravel mining to take place and it is estimated by the company that the mining and reclamation process will take up to five years to complete. Due to the significant public safety issues, areas north of the Poudre River throughout the SWA have been closed to public access and fenced accordingly.


Red Lion SWA

In 2008, additional hunting restrictions were added to the existing regulations for the Red Lion State Wildlife Area in a cooperative effort between the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Avian Research Program, other CPW personnel, and the Blue Ribbon Panel for a 6-year duck study of state wildlife areas and other impoundments along the South Platte River. The study was proposed due to the Commission’s concern that harvest pressure had led to reduced numbers of wintering ducks and low harvest success amongst hunters along the South Platte. The additional hunting restrictions at Red Lion SWA only applied during the regular duck season and were created in the effort to evaluate relationships between hunting regulations, habitat conditions, and duck hunting quality. The regulations for the duck study included a reservation-only policy for waterfowl and small game hunting, a mandatory check-out policy for data collection, and restrictions on the number of hunting parties and the number of hunters in each party. Additionally, there were restrictions placed on the days of the week that hunters could reserve individual sections of the property, which included only Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays, and holidays to limit overcrowding the area. The 6-year duck study was concluded after the 2013-2014 regular duck season. CPW personnel met and discussed the information finalized in the study, and recommended removing the hunting restrictions that were added for the study to create more hunting opportunities for the public and simplify enforcement efforts.


Elliott SWA (Hamlin Tracts)

These regulations open the property to additional user days and additional hunting opportunities, including spring turkey hunting. They remove the Hamlin Tract (North and South) from the reservation system and allow hunting for all game species on a first-come, first-served basis with check-in and check-out requirements (at the check station currently on the property) from the beginning of the September teal season through the end of the regular duck season. Outside of this time frame the property would be open to all other hunting opportunities and for wildlife viewing without the check-in and check-out requirement.


Tamarack SWA

Personnel at Tamarack Ranch SWA recently completed several new augmentation ponds. Previously there were 4 existing augmentation ponds, three of which were open to hunting and one that was closed and served as a refuge. Due to the very high quality waterfowl habitat provided, these augmentation ponds draw and winter significant numbers of waterfowl later in the season once nearby shallow wetlands freeze. Hunting success on adjacent open areas may be negatively impacted by the existing refuge pond and nearby private land refuges. If not hunted, several new refuge ponds with very high quality habitat will likely be established, which will likely negatively impact waterfowl hunting success on open areas of Tamarack Ranch SWA.


However, the development of these ponds offers the opportunity to establish a limited and conservative premier lottery draw waterfowl hunt. There are 7 augmentation ponds/units that can offer an exceptional waterfowl hunting experience, and a lottery reservation system where one pond is hunted each day will offer ample daily refuge areas to hold ducks in the area. The conservative hunting strategy proposed will allow periodic disturbance to move ducks around the property to avoid the negative consequences of establishing additional high-fidelity refuge areas where the waterfowl resource is largely not available for harvest. The conservative hunting as proposed is intended to allow ample rest time to maintain a quality opportunity and experience as well as improve waterfowl hunting opportunity and success on the remainder of Tamarack Ranch SWA by increasing movement and distribution of waterfowl on the property.
Brush Prairie Ponds and Andrick SWAs

These changes make the regulations more consistent across both of these SWAs, reduce the burden that the lottery drawing poses to the Brush Service Center, and reduce field staff workload (posting reservations).


State Trust Land Cleanup

The Carr Tract has been removed as that property is no longer leased by CPW. In addition, stipulations were cleaned up Atwood and Overland Trail parcels to ensure the intent of recent regulatory changes by the Parks and Wildlife Commission. Finally, regulations for Coal Bank Gulch and Shaw Creek were modified in order to ensure compliance with State Land Board lease restrictions.


The primary statutory authority for these regulations can be found in § 24-4-103, C.R.S., and the state Wildlife Act, §§ 33-1-101 to 33-6-209, C.R.S., specifically including, but not limited to: §§ 33-1-106 and 33-1-107, C.R.S.
EFFECTIVE DATE - THESE REGULATIONS SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 AND SHALL REMAIN IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT UNTIL REPEALED, AMENDED OR SUPERSEDED.
APPROVED AND ADOPTED BY THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF COLORADO THIS 11th DAY OF JULY, 2014.
APPROVED:

William Kane

Chairman
ATTEST:

Christopher J. Castilian

Secretary







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