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Wildlife officer hassled family

Missy Capan

I am writing to you in regards to an experience I recently had with an wildlife officer on June 21 at the O.C. Musgrage Campground. I have been a resident of Colorado since 1989. During that time my husband and I have had many opportunities to enjoy the wonderful outdoors here in Colorado. Our first child was born in 2002 and our second was born in 2004. This summer, our children have finally reached an age that my husband and I have felt comfortable enough to take our children to enjoy some of our favorite places that we have not been to in years.

This is how my children’s first experience was. We arrived at the campground on Friday afternoon. A gentleman came by our campsite and was very friendly to educate us on the Habitat Stamp. Our party was not aware of the stamp. The the children at the campground and he was going to run into Radium to see if there was anything that he may do about purchasing that Habitat stamp so that we would be in compliance. As we have always done our part to obey the rules and be in compliance with the State of Colorado. We have bought state park passes, registered our snowmobiles, etc.

Once he arrived in Radium, he stopped at a rafting company to ask if they new about the Habitat stamp. The company then sent him to the Bureau of Land Mangment campground where there was to be a pay phone. He then stopped and asked the campground host where this phone was. After several attempts at getting a dial tone and putting in several quarters my husband gave up and returned to the campground. When he returned, our party was being hassled by the wildlife officer.

My husband explained to the officer of his attempts. The officer then said that he was going to go and check the pay phone and if there was a dial tone that he was then going to issue all of the adults in our party a $68 ticket. He would not let anyone follow him to the pay phone. When the officer returned he claimed he was able to get a dial tone off of the pay phone and that he would then need all of our driver’s licenses to issue us our tickets.

This officer took up over an hour of our time and was controversial enough that we had to send the children away ” six girls under the age of 10.

With everything going on in this world today, we just wanted to spend some quality family time with our children. We attempted to rectify the situation, only to be accused of lying. It turns out that the pay phone sticks and you have to know how to juggle it just right in order for it to work. How sad that we are not able to even go out and enjoy our Colorado wilderness without having to deal with such an unkind, unreasonable person.

I am so disappointed and saddened that this is how we are treating people in the State of Colorado. With the state of the economy, what is going to happen when all of the state’s tourism dollars disappear? Isn’t the purpose of the Colorado Division of Wildlife to protect, preserve, enhance, and manage wildlife for the use, benefit and enjoyment of the people of this state and its visitors?

Missy Capangentleman informed us that the stamp may be purchased online or by phone. He did not make it seem urgent and made it seem like we would be able to take care of this once we returned to town, as there is no cell service, pay phone, or Internet at the campground.

The next day we had a wonderful fun-filled day with our family on the river and returned to the campground with hungry, tired children around 6:30 p.m. My husband and I decided that he would drop me and the children at the campground and he was going to run into Radium to see if there was anything that he may do about purchasing that Habitat stamp so that we would be in compliance. As we have always done our part to obey the rules and be in compliance with the State of Colorado. We have bought state park passes, registered our snowmobiles, etc.

Once he arrived in Radium, he stopped at a rafting company to ask if they new about the Habitat stamp. The company then sent him to the Bureau of Land Mangment campground where there was to be a pay phone. He then stopped and asked the campground host where this phone was. After several attempts at getting a dial tone and putting in several quarters my husband gave up and returned to the campground. When he returned, our party was being hassled by the wildlife officer.

My husband explained to the officer of his attempts. The officer then said that he was going to go and check the pay phone and if there was a dial tone that he was then going to issue all of the adults in our party a $68 ticket. He would not let anyone follow him to the pay phone. When the officer returned he claimed he was able to get a dial tone off of the pay phone and that he would then need all of our driver’s licenses to issue us our tickets.

This officer took up over an hour of our time and was controversial enough that we had to send the children away ” six girls under the age of 10.

With everything going on in this world today, we just wanted to spend some quality family time with our children. We attempted to rectify the situation, only to be accused of lying. It turns out that the pay phone sticks and you have to know how to juggle it just right in order for it to work. How sad that we are not able to even go out and enjoy our Colorado wilderness without having to deal with such an unkind, unreasonable person.

I am so disappointed and saddened that this is how we are treating people in the State of Colorado. With the state of the economy, what is going to happen when all of the state’s tourism dollars disappear? Isn’t the purpose of the Colorado Division of Wildlife to protect, preserve, enhance, and manage wildlife for the use, benefit and enjoyment of the people of this state and its visitors?


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