Environmental briefs: Snowmobilers cited for riding in wilderness area | SummitDaily.com

Environmental briefs: Snowmobilers cited for riding in wilderness area

U.S. Forest Rangers out on wilderness patrol recently issued citations of $500 each to two snowmobilers illegally riding in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area near Richmond Ridge.

It’s part of the reason why officials from the White River National Forest and the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District are reminding recreationists to make sure they are conducting appropriate recreational activities in designated areas for the activity. Snowmobiles, like all motorized equipment, are illegal in Congressionally-designated Wilderness areas, for instance.

“We make the effort to inform riders with signs along Richmond Ridge showing the Wilderness boundary,” Karen Schroyer, Aspen-Sopris district ranger, in a news release. “However, ultimately it is their responsibility to know the regulations and to avoid taking their machines into designated Wilderness.”

The 1964 Wilderness Act set aside wilderness as places to enjoy primitive adventure and solitude, as refuges from the sights and sounds of the mechanized world. Therefore, snow vehicle travel is restricted to the Richmond Hill Road south of Aspen Mountain due to the mix of private lands, permitted ski/hut operations and the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area.

The White River National Forest is annually the most visited National Forest in the nation. Prior to visiting, guests are encouraged to obtain a free motor vehicle use map at the closest ranger station or online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

“The White River National Forest is all yours to explore, discover and care for in a safe and responsible way,” said the release. “The integrity of the forest depends on you to obey regulations and be good stewards of the land.”

Colorado hosts ‘State of the Fish’ meeting

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) invites anglers to a “State of the Fish” meeting in Silverthorne at the end of February in the agency’s continuing efforts to give the public a voice in the management of their fisheries.

The meeting will function as a “data workshop” to offer the chance for positive interaction between the public and the agency tasked with fishing, hunting and wildlife management. The principal topics on the agenda include management options for Green Mountain Reservoir and Blue River.

The reservoir, located on Highway 9 between Silverthorne and Kremmling, is experiencing several management challenges, including a persistent infestation of gill lice and a destructive population of northern pike. The predator species was illegally introduced into the reservoir several years ago, and their growing numbers continue to negatively impact desirable types.

At the meeting, CPW will also reveal changes to the Gold Medal designation of portions of the Blue River in Summit County.

“We believe face-to-face conversation is one of the best ways to gather the valuable public input we need when we establish management direction and goals,” Jon Ewert, CPW biologist, said in a news release. “We want to make decisions the public supports in order to meet our objective of providing world-class fishing opportunities.”

Fishing licenses go on sale Wednesday, March 16 and can be purchased at any CPW or State Park office, license vendor or online at http://www.cpw.state.co.us.

The “State of the Fish” meeting will be held at the Summit County Library, located at 651 Center Cir. in Silverthorne, on Monday, Feb. 29, at 7 p.m. All are encouraged to come have their opinions be heard.

Apply to hunt for big game, sheep and goat

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is also now offering brochures and license applications for big game, sheep and goat for the 2016 hunting season.

The agency’s online application period is open now through April 5 at 11:59 p.m. Resources for hunters to complete their applications may also be found on CPW’s website.

“Sportsmen and women are encouraged to review CPW’s brochure and regulations before application,” CPW spokesman Matt Robbins said in a news release. “CPW’s license refund policy has changed, and applicants should be aware of new requirements and fees.”

The big game brochure contains regulations for deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and bear, and the sheep and goat brochure contains those pertaining to Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep and mountain goat. These resource are also available in print form at CPW offices or any of the 750 license vendors throughout Colorado.

An approved hunter education card or certificate is require before applying for or purchasing a Colorado hunting license if you were born on or after Jan. 1 1949. Colorado honors hunter education certifications from other states, countries and Canadian provinces.

Helpful documents when applying for a hunting license include:

• Current and valid photo ID

• Proof of hunter education certification

• 2016 habitat stamp, which will be automatically added to your application if needed. The $10 stamp can also be purchased separately and is required for license buyers between ages 18-64

• Social Security number for customers 12 years of age and older, unless already on file

• Hunt codes (up to four for each species)

• Credit card (MasterCard, Visa or Discover accepted)

Check out CPW’s website for more information, at http://www.cpw.state.co.us, and navigate over to the hunter resources.

Compiled by Kevin Fixler. Send environmental news to kfixler@summitdaily.com

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