WildEarth Guardians take aim at CPW predator management

RBC | WildEarth Guardians is back, this time aiming their legal guns at Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) in an attempt to hinder the department’s plan to strategically reduce the number of mountain lions and black bears in an effort to reduce mule deer predation.
“CPW’s plans are not grounded in sound science, violate Colorado’s Constitution, and are neither supported by the vast majority of Coloradans nor in the public interest,” said Stuart Wilcox, staff attorney for WildEarth Guardians in a press release. “The Parks and Wildlife Commission’s disdain for the public’s will and the opinions of dozens of our country’s leading scientists is hugely concerning.”
The predator management plans are in the Piceance Basin and the Upper Arkansas River Basin in south central Colorado.
WildEarth Guardians, which is based out of Montana and is best known in Rio Blanco County for a lawsuit filed against Colowyo that threatened 220 jobs, cited the “clearly expressed desire of Colorado citizens to ban trapping … as well as receiving over 6,500 public comments opposing the plans.”
“We call on CPW to withdraw the plans, work with leading biologists to understand the existing science on the impacts of predation by carnivores to mule deer, and focus on addressing the main threats to mule deer populations including rampant fossil fuel development and habitat loss,” said Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director for WildEarth Guardians. “We also call on the governor to appoint commissioners who are committed to employing the best available science and who represent the vast majority of Coloradans who oppose cruel trapping and want the full compliment of native species, including bears and mountain lions, on the landscape.”
As of press time, Colorado Parks and Wildlife had not been served the complaint, according to CPW public information officer Mike Porras, and declined to comment until they have a chance to review the complaint.