Colorado Revised Statutes Title 33. Parks and Wildlife § 33-9-101. Commission--creation--composition--terms--vacancies--removal--meetings--strategic plan--legislative declaration

(1)(a) Effective July 1, 2012, there is hereby created the parks and wildlife commission, also referred to in this article as the “commission”.

(2) The commission consists of thirteen members, as follows:

(a) Two members who are ex officio nonvoting members, as follows:

(I) The executive director;  and

(II) The commissioner of the department of agriculture;

(b) Eleven voting members who are appointed, in accordance with subsection (3) of this section, by the governor with the consent of the senate.

(3)(a) The eleven voting members of the commission are as follows:

(I) Three members who are sports persons who can demonstrate a reasonable knowledge of wildlife issues and who have obtained a hunting or fishing license issued under this title for at least each of the three years prior to their appointments.  One of the members appointed pursuant to this subparagraph (I) must be an outfitter registered pursuant to article 55.5 of title 12, C.R.S.

(II) Three members who are actively involved in production agriculture as owners or lessees of the agricultural property and owners or partial owners of the commodities produced on the land and who can demonstrate a reasonable knowledge of wildlife issues;

(III) Three members who can demonstrate that they regularly engage in outdoor recreation and utilize parks resources.  One member appointed under this subparagraph (III) shall represent a nonprofit organization that supports and promotes the conservation and enhancement of Colorado's wildlife and habitat;  recognizes and promotes primarily nonconsumptive wildlife use;  and has expertise in wildlife issues, wildlife habitat, or wildlife management;  and

(IV) Two members appointed from the public at-large.

(b)(I) In appointing members to the commission under paragraph (a) of this subsection (3), the governor shall make appointments that ensure that a reasonable balance of the following areas of knowledge and experience, as they relate to parks and wildlife, are represented:  Outdoor business, service as a current or former local elected official, youth outdoor education, wildlife biology or science, energy, conservation, beneficial uses of water, land conservation and conservation easements, and diversified trails interests and activities.  In order to satisfy the requirements of this paragraph (b), the governor shall give preference to persons with experience or expertise in multiple areas of knowledge.

(II) Regardless of the particular interests or qualifications possessed by each member appointed to the commission pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (3), each commissioner represents diverse parks, wildlife, and outdoor recreation throughout Colorado and is committed to the long-term financial stability and sustainability of the department.

(c) Of the voting members appointed to the commission, there shall not be a difference of more than one person between those members affiliated with any major political party.

(d) To the extent possible, voting members shall be appointed to the commission in a manner that ensures balanced geographical representation of diverse areas of the state.  At least four voting members shall be appointed from west of the continental divide.

(e)(I) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this subsection (3), terms of members serving pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of this section are for four years.

(II) No member serving pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of this section is permitted to serve more than two consecutive terms.

(f)(I) Initial appointments of voting members of the commission are as follows:  Two members to serve until July 1, 2013;  three members to serve until July 18, 2014;  three members to serve until July 18, 2015;  and three members to serve until July 18, 2016.  All subsequent appointments are for terms of four years.

(II) In making initial appointments to the commission under subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (f), the governor may select persons serving on the former parks and wildlife board, as that board existed on June 30, 2012.  However, a person so appointed is ineligible to serve any of the initial appointments that would result in extending for more than two years the date on which the person's parks and wildlife board term would have expired.

(4) The governor shall fill vacancies on the commission for any unexpired term, with the consent of the senate.  The member appointed to fill a vacancy shall be from the same category described in paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of this section as the member vacating the position.

(5) The governor is permitted to remove members of the commission only for cause.

(6) Six voting commissioners constitute a quorum for purposes of conducting the business of the commission.

(7) For purposes of mailing and service, the commission's principal office is in the office of the executive director.

(8) For each day actually engaged in the duties of the commission, the commission members are entitled to receive a per diem amount of fifty dollars, together with all actual and necessary travel expenses to be paid after the expenses are incurred.  Mileage rates are as provided in section 24-9-104, C.R.S .

(9) The commission shall exercise its powers and perform its duties and functions under the department and the executive director of the department as if the same were transferred to the department by a type 1 transfer, as defined in the “Administrative Organization Act of 1968”, article 1 of title 24, C.R.S.

(10)(a)(I) The initial meeting of the commission shall be convened by the executive director.

(II) At the first meeting, the commission shall:

(A) Elect a chair and vice-chair from the members serving pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of this section, who shall serve in that capacity for a term of one year but who may be reelected for additional terms;  and

(B) Designate two members to serve as representatives to the state board of the great outdoors Colorado trust fund established under article XXVII of the state constitution.  One representative must be a commissioner with wildlife knowledge appointed pursuant to subparagraph (I) of paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of this section, and the other representative must be a commissioner with experience in outdoor recreation appointed pursuant to subparagraph (III) of paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of this section.

(b) The commission shall meet as often as necessary and may adopt policies and procedures necessary to carry out its duties.  The commission shall conduct at least two meetings per calendar year at locations west of the continental divide.

(11)(a) In addition to discharging its regular duties and functions, the commission shall specifically discuss and formulate a five-year strategic plan to address ongoing or new issues resulting after, and identify increased efficiencies and cost savings that may be realized from, the 2011 merger of the former division of wildlife and the former division of parks and outdoor recreation into the division of parks and wildlife.  The strategic plan must address how the merger has affected policies, objectives, strategies, and estimated annual fiscal costs and savings associated with the duties and programs of the division.

(b) The commission shall finalize the strategic plan required by this subsection (11) by December 31, 2013.  In developing the strategic plan, the commission shall place special emphasis on obtaining meaningful statewide input.

(c) Notwithstanding section 24-1-136(11), C.R.S ., for every year included in the strategic plan, the commission shall submit a report annually to the house committee on agriculture, livestock, and natural resources and the senate committee on agriculture, natural resources, and energy, or any successor committees, regarding the progress and status of the strategic plan.  In order to reduce costs associated with preparing and transmitting such reports, the commission is authorized to send the reports in an electronic format.

(12)(a) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that it is the policy of the state that:

(I) Colorado's wildlife, natural, scenic, and scientific resources must be protected, preserved, enhanced, and managed for the use, benefit, and enjoyment of the people of the state and its visitors;

(II) Colorado's agriculture plays a vital role in providing the state's wildlife, natural, scenic, and scientific resources the habitat and conditions that allow these resources to thrive;

(III) A comprehensive program designed to offer the greatest possible variety of recreational opportunity to the people of the state and its visitors is provided;

(IV) There must be a continuous operation of planning, acquisition, development, and management of wildlife habitats, state parks, outdoor recreation lands, trails, waters, and facilities in a manner that recognizes the private property rights of individual property owners;  and

(V) Both education and outreach activities must be used to promote natural resources stewardship.

(b) The general assembly further finds and declares that the mission of the commission and the division is to perpetuate the wildlife resources of the state, to provide a quality state parks system, and to provide enjoyable and sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities that educate and inspire current and future generations to serve as active stewards of Colorado's natural resources.


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