State wildlife agency under attack from anti-hunting activist groups

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is under attack by three anti-hunting activists groups suing the agency and its federal partners for a variety of reasons.
State wildlife agency under attack from anti-hunting activist groups

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife agency is under fire from multiple animal activist groups about the agency's efforts to help mule deer by killing or relocating mountain lions and bears.

At least three lawsuits have been filed against the CPW, according to the Grand Junction News Sentinel. The latest is about the agency's source of money. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has authorized at least $3.4 million for two of the CPW's projects.

The latest lawsuit is a combo effort by the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society of the United States and WildEarth Guardians. The newspaper reported that the suits allege the USFWS failed to adequately analyze the impacts of these projects as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

CPW wants to remove 5 to 15 mountain lions and 10 to 25 bears a year for three years in the Roan Plateau area of the Piceance Basin. This area is about 500 square miles. Another project focuses only on mountain lions in a different area over a nine-year period.

Along with the lawsuit about the funding, WildEarth Guardians sued CPW to stop the projects. That group and the Center for Biological Diversity also sued Wildlife Services about its work with CPW and also its overall work in the entire state.
Also at issue is the requried environmental assessments for projects such as these. The activist groups say revised or updated assessments have not been done since an earlier version, and the same one cannot be used twice. Wildlife Services is working on a new assessment.
The mule deer population in Colorado has been a concern for several years, with different factors believed to be playing a role in declining numbers.

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