Colorado being sued by environmental group over plan to kill mountain lions and black bears

Jan 25, 2017

Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Colorado is being sued by an environmental group over the state’s controversial plan to kill mule deer predators.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, WildEarth Guardians filed suit this week over a plan approved by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission in December to kill mountain lions and bears.

Colorado Parks and Wildife says there are about 450,000 mule deer in the state and the agency wants there to be about 560,000.

According to CPW documents, crews will kill up to 15 mountain lions and 25 black bears each year in the Piceance Basin on the Western Slope.

Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director with Wild Earth Guardians, told CPR that part of the agency’s plan violates a constitutional amendment that restricts how wild animals are trapped in the state.

“Our case alleges that the agency is violating its own regulations, state law and the Colorado state constitution because it allows for trapping of these animals,” Cotton said.

She also said that the CPW’s plan to increase the state’s mule deer herd is not scientifically sound.

CPW responded to concerns from WildEarth Guardians in a letter in September and said the most likely factor limiting mule deer population growth is predation.