|The New Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife|
On July 1st the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation merged, becoming the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife (DPW). The merger was primarily a cost-saving measure introduced by Governor Hickenlooper. The new DPW Board is currently comprised of the eleven former Division of Wildlife Commissioners and the five former Board Members of the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Under the current DPW Board structure, the former Division of Wildlife Commissioners can dictate the direction of the new DPW Board.
The former Division of Wildlife Commissioners’ policies focused on wildlife preservation and prioritized “wildlife oriented recreation,” such as hunting and fishing, over all other forms of recreation. Examples of the former Division of Wildlife’s bias against “non-wildlife oriented recreation” are found at Dome Rock near Colorado Springs and Rifle Fishing Unit near Rifle Colorado. Rock climbing is, and has been, completely banned at both locations without justification.
The transition plan allows two more opportunities for public input before the DPW Board’s new mission and ultimate composition are officially declared. July 29, 2011 was the first deadline for the public to provide input regarding the new DPA. The Access Fund submitted a comment letter addressing climbers’ concerns and will continue to be involved throughout the entire process. To get more information, visit the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.