Duane Scholl of Kremmling, a rancher, businessman, civic leader and the Middle Park Habitat Partnership Program (HPP) committee chairman, is the 2013 recipient of the Joe Gerrans Private Individual Memorial Award.
Scholl was lauded at a recent statewide HPP conference for his contributions, dedication and roles in the success of HPP.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife program brings agency staff, landowners, sportsmen, land management agencies and other stakeholders together to implement projects, including habitat improvements, fence repairs and other methods that helps lessen the impacts to agricultural operators caused by wildlife.
"Duane's leadership was critical in the creation of the program," said HPP coordinator Pat Tucker."
Since its inception in 1990, HPP has now grown to include an HPP State Council and 19 local committees in areas with significant big-game conflicts.
The program receives it primary funding from a portion of hunting and fishing license sales; however, a feature of the program includes a process of leveraging those funds with money and contributions from other partners and stakeholders.
Joe Gerrans, in whose honor the award is named, was an Area Wildlife Manger for the former Division of Wildlife in Hot Sulphur Springs. In the mid-1980s, after witnessing local ranchers' frustration with substantial crop losses caused by wildlife and the agency's struggle resolving those issues, Gerrans began working with Scholl and other local landowners to find a solution. Together, they developed the new and innovative partnership program as a way to address game damage issues and improve working relationships.
Gerrans' wife Linda presented the award to Scholl at the HPP Statewide Habitat Conference on Jan. 16 in Grand Junction.
With Scholl's involvement in the new Middle Park HPP committee - the first in the state - it proved to be a success. Three years later, Scholl became the committee's chairman, a position he holds to this day. One of three people representing livestock growers on the committee, Scholl is known for his fairness and innovative approaches to resolving big-game conflicts.
In his nomination letter, members of the Middle Park Committee recognized Scholl for being "open to new ideas that may have not been tried before."
Innovations he championed included the use of high tensile fencing and "Middle Park Gates," the practice of building corridors through ranch property allowing elk to pass without damaging fences.
For more information about the Habitat Partnership Program, please visit: http://wildlife.state.co.us/LandWater/PrivateLandProgram/HPP/Pages/HPP.aspx