This week’s guest Michelle Zimmerman says she was not quite ready to serve when she was called on to fill a seat on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission. That was eight years (or two terms) ago. Prior to serving on the board, Zimmerman had worked in land trust work and solar development. Serving on the Commission brought her into the world of hunting, which has become a part of her identity. This week she tells Artemis what it’s like serving on a game commission, why the work matters, and why you ARE qualified to throw your hat in the ring. Plus, a discussion on grip’n’grin hunting shots and taxidermied wall mounts.

  • 5:00 Being on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission (for EIGHT years) — it’s a volunteer position with appointment from the governor, maybe 8-10 hours a week of service
  • 7:00 The winding road of a career: From land trust management to conservation work (with a little wheat farming) to… *gasp*… working as a developer!
  • 8:00 Michelle’s ‘in’ to hunting was through her service on the Wildlife Commission.
  • 11:00 That moment when the governor’s people say, “Hmmm… could you carry your shotgun THIS way?”
  • 13:00 Taking the life of a big-game animal can be emotional. It’s totally ok to love the hunting, the harvesting, the cooking, the eating… and still hate that half-second of killing
  • 18:00 Chats with a trophy hunter – a taxidermied mount is a way to capture a cherished memory, similar to a photo
  • 20:00 Months and months of preparation time filter into a small moment, and a wall mount can be a continual reminder of that moment of personal change/growth
  • 22:00 “Grip and grin” photos = perennial discussion fodder 
  • 27:00 Journey to becoming a state Wildlife Commissioner
  • 34:00 Informed decision-making on a Commission to do what’s right for a resource… you can’t please everyone (and hate mail goes with the territory)
  • 43:00 Public outreach involves website updates and a newsletter, plus LOTS of public meetings
  • 47:00 Attending a game commission meeting is a great window into what commissions do, why we rely on them to responsibly manage resources, and what the public shows up to weigh in on
  • 50:00 Public comment DOES change management decisions (all the time). It’s important and it matters.
  • 53:00 Women of the world! Serving on a game commission IS for you. Here’s Michelle’s take on why your voice matters… what you do can truly effects change. 
  • 55:00 How to do it? Get on your state government’s website, see the commissions/boards that are there, see what you might be interested in, and go to a meeting 
  • 58:00 Nobody is ever ‘ready’ to be a commissioner… but that doesn’t mean it’s not the right time
  • 59:00 “Say something out loud and put your intention toward it… and it begins to unfold.” (Pssst…. those words might be, “Hey… I think I want to be a commissioner some day for XYZ state board/commission.”)