https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/colorado-committee-says-no-to-animal-rights-commission-appointees/

The Colorado Senate Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee saw eye-to-eye with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partner organizations in rejecting the nomination of two of three Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission nominees.

On identical 4-to-3 votes, the panel rejected recommending confirmation of Jessica Beaulieu and Gary Skiba, both appointed by Colorado Governor Jared Polis, to represent state park users and sportspersons respectively. Beaulieu is manager of the University of Denver’s Animal Law Program, which aims to “protect the interests and well-being of non-human animals.”

In 2022 prior to her appointment, she testified in favor of legislation to undermine the commission by banning mountain lion hunting by legislative order, a bill RMEF strongly opposed. Beaulieu was also a fellow at the Center for Biological Diversity, a well-known anti-hunting group. Skiba is best known as an advocate for the forced introduction of wolves into Colorado, was part of a group who filed suit against California to list wolves and is a member of Defenders of Wildlife, another anti-hunting organization.

According to a letter submitted prior to the hearing by RMEF and 19 other conservation, hunting, farming and civic groups, “the nominees’ lack of broad recreational management experience, demonstrated objections towards holistic science-based wildlife management and the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, and limited engagement and experience with the relationship between private land management, are of significant concern.”

The letter also highlighted the appointees’ “apparent biases” and “broader concerns regarding governance, transparency and the future path of Colorado Parks and Wildlife.”

Gov. Polis received broad criticism when making the appointments in July 2023, including a scathing rebuke from hunter, angler and RMEF life member Grant Jerry, who testified before the commission shortly after the initial appointments.

“We will not stand aside as powerful anti-hunting groups veiled as animal rights advocates attempt to dismantle and discredit the North American Model and exclude hunters from wildlife management while slowly whittling away at hunting opportunities for Coloradans,” said Jerry. “Even within this commission, I’ve heard commissioners openly disparage hunters and seek to perpetuate misinformed, negative stereotypes of hunters.”

While rejecting Beaulieu and Skiba, the committee voted 4-to-3 to recommend the commission confirmation of John “Jack” Murphy.

It is important to note the “no” votes are not binding. They are merely a recommendation to the full Colorado Senate where all candidates will still be debated. RMEF members can find and contact their legislators on RMEF’s advocacy website here.

Click here to listen to the committee’s proceedings.

(Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)

The post Colorado Committee Says ‘No’ to Animal Rights Commission Appointees appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

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