Greetings to all! Thank you in advance for taking the time out of your day to consider this petition. My name is Scott Arnao; I’m in my 5th decade of being a sportsman/hunter, and have had hundreds of positive interactions with Game/Fish and have never received a citation prior to the Trespassing violation about which I’m writing today.
In April of 2008, for opening day of Turkey Season, I drove down a private road to access Centennial Valley State Wildlife Area (SWA), and parked in a very large parking area, apparently reserved for State Personnel and Oil and Gas Workers. When I got back to my car I was met by a Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) Officer. I was given a 25 pt. ticket for Trespassing/Parking in a non-designated area.
A number of charges were filed against me, most of which were dismissed, and I ultimately ended up with a penalty of 2 years of supervised probation from Weld County (probation dates: 12/2/2008 - 12/3/2010), which included as terms and conditions of probation, no hunting, fishing, or trapping. In addition to the Weld County penalty, the CDOW issued a 3-year Suspension (on paper -- in reality it's closer to 4 1/2 years) of my license-buying privileges for fishing, hunting and trapping; nor can I apply for preference points for the same amount of time.
The end result of these penalties is that I have not hunted or fished since 10/2008.
The current reinstatement date for my license buying privileges is 5/5/2013. As you can see, the on-paper 3-year suspension of my hunting and fishing privileges has become in reality, up to a 4 ½ year suspension of these privileges (depending on perspective).
This was a first time offense that included no harm or threat to any wildlife or person. Despite this fact, I received almost the maximum penalty allowed, while other offenders who perpetrated more serious offenses have been seemingly treated more leniently by CDOW.
I appealed the start and completion dates of the suspension with the Wildlife Commission. The Wildlife Commission rejected my appeal, upholding the Hearing Examiners decision regarding these dates, maintaining the 4 1/2 year total suspension.
In mid-2011, I received additional counsel stating that the CDOW has “Exclusive Authority,” (everything else aside) to reinstate my license if they so choose. I was advised to write a Letter for Reconsideration, requesting a 30 minute hearing to allow me to give presentations to local elementary school children on the importance of responsible natural resource management hopefully in exchange for early reinstatement of my hunting and fishing privileges.
I was again refused. Please see the 2 letters I sent/2 CDOW letters of response on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1700033275).
As a result, I feel I have no further recourse except to appeal to you – my friends, family, acquaintances and the general public at large for assistance. Please take a few moments to read and sign my petition requesting that my license buying privileges be properly reinstated, effective 6/5/2012 (or the confirmed date from CDOW of the last Deer/Antelope/Elk draw in 6/2009 which ever comes first).
The CDOW supposedly operates under the principals of Fairness, Ethical Behavior, and doing what is Right – the same principals we as sportsmen live by. Where is the fairness, ethicalness, and commitment to doing what is right in this matter?
But this issue isn’t just about my license buying privileges/rights; these are everybody’s privileges/rights. The same thing could happen to you or your family.
My understanding is that public input is “Vital to the Process,” at CDOW. With that in mind, I ask you again, please take a moment to let your voices be heard.
Please reinstate Scott Arnao’s hunting and fishing license-buying privileges effective 6/5/2012 (rather than May 5/5/2013) unless otherwise stated by CDOW, (ie unless they can produce the actual date of the last draw for deer, elk, antelope and bear in 2009).
For clarification purposes, the current suspension dates are 5/6/2010 - 5/5/2013. The proposed dates are 5/6/2009 - 6/5/2012.
I applied/recieved preference points; last draw was approximately 6/2 or 6/3 2009.
My family and I greatly appreciate your input as well as your signature! We are looking to resolve this matter as soon as possible!