Craig Daily Press denied access to meeting about sage grouse conservation

From the Craig Daily Press:  The Craig Daily Press recently looked into a possible violation of Colorado Sunshine Law following a meeting about sage grouse conservation.

The meeting, which took place at American Legion Post 62 following Tuesday’s tour of Moffat County land by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and United States Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, was closed off to Daily Press government reporter Erin Fenner.

Fenner said she was “under the impression” the meeting was open to the public and was therefore open to the press. A man present whom Fenner believed to be representing Sec. Jewell told Fenner the meeting was closed by a request from Jewell.

Fenner said Moffat County commissioners, all of whom were in attendance Tuesday, had recommended she attend the sage grouse meeting earlier that day. Additionally, upon Fenner’s return to the CDP newsroom, Commissioner John Kinkaid called her during the meeting to ask her to return.

However, when she arrived at the American Legion, she was again asked to leave by the same unidentified man.

Kinkaid confirmed he had contacted Fenner during the meeting in order to speak with those involved.

He said the commissioners were not responsible for setting up the meeting — which also included representatives from the state, Craig City Council, Routt and Rio Blanco counties, the Bureau of Land Management and community members, among others — but he was unclear why the meeting was closed.

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