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Colorado’s controversial predator plan under fire


Black bear eating grass
Photo credits: Shutterstock

Colorado’s predator-control plan is under attack. Last week environmental groups sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in an effort to stop Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) controversial plan to lethally remove 120 bears and mountain lions to save mule deer. WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed the lawsuit against the USDA Wildlife Services because CPW plans to use the state agency for the predator control.

As goHUNT previously reported, the decision to move forward with the predator-control plan was approved after a year of deliberations and debate. The Colorado wildlife commissioners unanimously approved euthanizing “excess” mountain lions and bears in the upper Arkansas River Basin around Salida and the Picesance Basin near Rifle to help declining mule deer. The plan calls for the use of cage traps, culvert traps, foot snares and hunting dogs.

The three-year plan is scheduled to begin May 1 and won’t reduce bears and mountain lions in the southwest portions of the state, The Journal reports. The lawsuit alleges that the state did not do enough due diligence regarding the environmental impact of the plan and should incorporate more public sentiment before being permitted to move forward with the predator cull.

“The state relies on outdated and unscientific thinking that disregards the importance of predators,” Collett Adkins, a CBD biologist and attorney told The Journal. “The scientific analysis that our lawsuit seeks would show that Colorado’s predator-killing program is ecologically harmful, as well as ineffective and cruel.”

However, the state doesn’t agree that their predator-control plan is erroneous.

“We have pretty compelling evidence that lions and bears are eating those newborn fawns before they get old enough to avoid predation,” Jeff Ver Steeg, an Assistant Director of Policy and Planning with CPW told CBS4 in a December 2016 interview. “We’re trying to test something that has not been studied in literature.”

While CPW says they plan to move forward with the project in May, opponents to the predator-control plan hope that their lawsuit will delay the project and allow for more time to examine the options. As for the USDA, the agency does not comment on pending litigation.





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Brandon P. - posted 2 years ago on 04-19-2017 07:26:09 am


Very good point Bob. These "Environmental Groups" are quite insincere, arrogant and misguided.

Bob M. - posted 2 years ago on 04-18-2017 09:13:37 pm
Aurora CO

My question would be why study the environmental impact now? When the spring bear hunt and other hunting bans were put into the state constitution there wasn't an environmental impact study done then. It was pull at the heart strings of city dwellers that don't hunt to vote for the anti hunting state constitution amendments. Then the same city dwellers are all up in arms about the bears, lions, coyotes and other predators are being found in the city.

Heath H. - posted 2 years ago on 04-18-2017 05:50:22 pm

Thanks Brady, it didn't bother me at all I just wanted to make you guys aware of it. As a Montana Resident I know what you are saying about the Grizzlies. It's a lot more peaceful at night when there aren't any Grizzlies around.

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 2 years ago on 04-18-2017 02:36:05 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

@Jason and Heath. That is an error on the original article's report that our writer grabbed for this piece (the original source has also now made that change). It has been changed in our report too. I for one am so glad CO doesn't have them yet... I have a hard enough time avoiding grizzlies while hunting in Montana and Wyoming.

Heath H. - posted 2 years ago on 04-18-2017 01:50:56 pm

Lorenzo and Co.......pretty sure there are no grizzlies in Colorado....

Jason W. - posted 2 years ago on 04-18-2017 12:55:45 pm

Might want to proofread/fact check that article... Grizzly bears?