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CMU selected to host exclusive wildlife art exhibit

Campus conservation ethic boosted by legacy of Bishop family

Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster announced that on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Waterfowl Stamp art collection will be unveiled at Colorado Mesa University to celebrate the wildlife conservation efforts represented by the collection. The event will celebrate what the art symbolizes and will honor Pat Bishop who donated the collection. Bishop donated the paintings and prints in memory of her husband, the late Tilman Bishop, who was a custodian of the collection and was a Colorado State Senator, who established the Waterfowl Stamp program. The exhibition is the only known complete collection of its kind.

“Pat Bishop understands how much CMU values Colorado’s wildlife as well as the contributions her husband made to conserve that wildlife,” said Foster. “Displaying past program art and receiving future art at CMU will be a daily reminder of our role in promoting hunting sports, wildlife and habitat conservation ethics and in teaching future leaders who will promote both.”

Colorado Senator Tilman Bishop implemented the legislation establishing the Waterfowl Stamp program in 1990. Proceeds from the program fund conservation for ducks, geese and other waterfowl and wildlife 

Honorable Colorado
Senator Tilman Bishop

whose habitats include Colorado wetlands. Money generated from stamp art and stamp sales come from an annual collector art stamp. The winner’s waterfowl painting is then used for the annual postage stamp. In conjunction with the stamp, the artist’s work is printed as wall art. This wall art comprises the collection received by CMU going back nearly three decades. Hunters must purchase a hunting stamp validation to pursue waterfowl in Colorado, generating additional revenue for wetlands conservation. The program has generated millions of dollars to conserve vast acres of wetlands in Colorado.

“Thousands of acres of wetlands have been protected over the years due to this program, and I know my husband was always happy to see that a lot of that conservation happened here on the west slope,” said Pat Bishop. "He would be so honored and pleased to see the work will be on permanent display at a university he cherished.”

CMU will continue to acquire annual additions to the collection to help the state agency bring visibility to the important program. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials, members of Ducks Unlimited and other art and wildlife enthusiasts are encouraged to view the art and enjoy refreshments between the hours of 3-6pm on November 13, 2019, in Lowell Heiney Hall on the CMU campus. Remarks will be provided at 3:30pm by Foster, Colorado Parks and Wildlife representative and Pat Bishop. 

CPW will be on hand to talk about the importance of preserving habitat and the history of the waterfowl stamp program.

”We are pleased to hear the news that the art symbolizing one of our most cherished programs will be housed at CMU for future generations to enjoy,” said CPW's Wetlands Conservation Coordinator Brian Sullivan. “The legacy of Tilman Bishop will help future generations understand the importance of wildlife and habitat conservation.”

The Waterfowl Stamp Program is part of the larger Colorado Parks and Wildlife wetlands conservation effort, designed to conserve wetlands for waterfowl and other wildlife. All revenue generated from the program is used to support conservation efforts throughout the state.

"Several thousand acres of wetlands have been protected with Waterfowl Stamp funds," said Sullivan. "Participation in the Waterfowl Stamp Program by hunters and non-hunters alike is an effective way to contribute to the conservation of this precious resource".


Written by David Ludlam