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CO Outfitter Looks For a 'Sporting Chance' Against Energy Development

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April 17, 2008

Washington, D.C. - A Colorado outdoor outfitter is asking Congress to give sportsmen in the West a "sporting chance." Bill Dvorak is testifying before a House committee in Washington today on the impact of oil and gas development on sportsmen and small businesses. Dvorak says he supports the "Sportsmen's Bill of Rights" currently being circulated to lawmakers.

"The goal is to make sure we don't destroy tourism, hunting, fishing and all the other recreational activities that can be done on our public lands."

The "Sportsmen's Bill of Rights" calls for more public input and control over public lands and says industry should pay a fair share of cleanup costs from energy development. Dvorak is testifying at a House Small Business Committee hearing on oil and gas development on public lands.

Mike Dombeck, a former chief of the U.S. Forest Service, says that when it comes to energy development, there's no need to follow in the footsteps of yesterday's mining industry and the environmental legacy it left in the West.

"Because of mining, 40 percent of the streams in the West are impaired in some way, with some completely fishless as a result. We don't have to do that again."

Dvorak says there have been spills reported on the Western Slope that threaten the entire region if the pollution makes it to the Colorado River.

"I would think that the river-running industry along with anything else having to do with rivers in the whole of the West would suffer."

More information is available online at

Eric Mack/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - CO