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J. Paul Brown honored for introducing bear legislation

J. Paul Brown, State Representative for House District 59, was recognized for “Outstanding Courage and Leadership,” by the Colorado Mule Deer Association at its August meeting.

“It was not easy for him to introduce HB11-1294,” said Denny Behrens, field representative for CMDA. “But he saw the need to protect human safety. We honor him for doing that.”

Even though doing anything to change bear populations in the state has been unpopular, Brown recognized that increasing numbers of bears and human-bear encounters that ended badly for members of both species needed attention.?

Brown said, “I appreciate this honor. I’m watching to see what Colorado Division of Wildlife will learn in its study of increasing conflicts between bears and people before we take this back to the legislature.”

Brown also shares Legislator of the Year honors with Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg. The Colorado Outfitters Association gave each a buckle to applaud their sponsorship of HB11-1294 — the bear bill — last year.

Dick Ray, longtime Pagosa outfitter, congratulated Brown and Sonnenberg. “They took on an unpopular issue, and they were steadfast in doing what’s right for the people of Colorado.”

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