(COLORADO SPRINGS) – On Tuesday, Colorado Parks and wildlife hosted an evening focused all around cooking and conservation.
The Rookie Sportsman Program has provided education regarding conservation, camping, fishing, and hunting for the past few months to several families. The goal is to create more conservation minded Colorado residents.
“If we don’t protect that resource and keep it close to our heart, there’s not going to be that resource for our kids to enjoy,” stated Phillip Gurule, an officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The program takes in families who are new to the outdoors to receive education, because initially getting a foot in the door can be intimidating.
“If you don’t do it right, it’s illegal, so it’s intimidating trying to pick up something you’ve never done before,” said Cameron Brown, one of the participants in the program.
Since sportsmen and women provide 80% of the funding for CPW, interesting more folks in wildlife preservation is important.
“Without hunters or fishermen, the state’s wildlife is not effectively managed,” said Jeffrey Marshall, another participant in the program.
This program has run for three years, introducing families to the great outdoors, and for three years, CPW has found that people are staying involved after the program ends.
While hunting and wildlife activities provide an annual $6,000,000,000 to the state, CPW says operating costs are increasing and license purchases are decreasing.
“This resource is important to people, and it’s important to get people outdoors. I think a lot of technology has made people want to stay indoors,” continued Gurule.
Even those who leave the program not interested in hunting have the chance to help.
“What’s nice is that we still get to teach you something about conservation,” said Gurule.
The plan is to keep going and hopefully expand.
“We would like to see this program implemented statewide,” Gurule finished.
*all photos courtesy of CPW