Critics Say Ranching For Wildlife Changes Aren't Enough

Craig (AP) Critics of a program encouraging landowners
to keep wildlife in mind while they make decisions about managing their land say recent changes don't go far enough.
The Colorado Wildlife Commission has adopted changes to the
Ranching for Wildlife Program that critics say hurts public hunting while providing too many benefits to private landowners.

The program gives ranchers with more than 12,000 acres hunting licenses and more flexible hunting seasons if they open their land to public hunting and manage their land for the benefit of wildlife. The changes, which go into effect next year, are under fire from some hunters and neighbors of ranches in the program.

A hunters' representative who served on a program review
committee says the new rules mean little because most ranchers already meet new requirements. Under the program, participating landowners can get up to 90% of male elk and deer licenses allocated for their land. Landowners typically sell their licenses.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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