Colorado’s controversial predator management program is under fire again as a third lawsuit has been filed against it. The Center for Biological Diversity, the Humane Society of the United States and WildEarth Guardians allege that funding provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) “failed to adequately analyze the impacts” of the predator program “as required by the National Environmental Policy Act,” The Daily Sentinel reports.
FWS has contributed more than $3.4 million in federal funding for the project that focuses on the Roan Plateau and the Upper Arkansas River Valley. This lawsuit is intended to try yet another tactic to stop the program.
As goHUNT previously reported, the decision to move forward with the predator-control plan, which includes the removal of 120 black bears and mountain lions to save mule deer, 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 Piceance Basin near Rifle to help declining mule deer. The three-year plan started last May and, despite pending lawsuits, is continuing as planned. While researchers have previously focused on habitat loss as a reason behind the decline of mule deer, the conclusions point to other factors beyond oil and gas development. This is why the state continues to move forward with this controversial predator management program.
FWS is funding “about $483,000 of the $644,000 cost of the Roan Plateau project and $2.95 million of the $3.95 million Upper Arkansas work,” according to The Daily Sentinel, which is why the agency is the current target of the most recent lawsuit.
FWS does not comment on pending litigation.