Kill Black Bears And Mountain Lions To Save Deer, Colorado Parks And Wildlife Commission Decides
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission (CPW) staff voted unanimously to experiment the predator control method in an effort to revive the decreasing mule deer population in the state. The law was passed amid criticism and protest from the common people and wildlife protection agencies.
The experimental predator control project will cover the Piceance Basin and Upper Arkansas River region of Colorado. According to the proposal, 15 mountain lions and 25 black bears will be killed every year. The CPW also released a statement that says, "CPW researchers and managers will continue a scientific approach toward their learning of the complex wildlife systems of the state," Denver Post reported.
The decision on the Predator Control Experiment was made last Wednesday after considering and reviewing numerous public comments and three public meetings on the issue. Most of the people who attended the meeting were either skeptical or totally against this proposal. Jeff Ver Steeg, Assistant Director, Policy and Planning, CPW, made a statement: "It is very clear that people are passionate about this issue and it was helpful hearing from both sides. ... CPW takes its responsibility to ethically manage wildlife in public trust very seriously."
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) reacted on this issue and said that the commission should also consider the factors such as loss of habitat before concluding that the rising population of black bears and mountain lions is responsible for the declining mule deer population. Brian Kurzel, NWF's regional director, said that, "We believe that habitat degradation from energy, and residential development, which has been confirmed by CPW biologists for years, should be the primary focus of scientifically-based wildlife management."
According to many, the alleged decision is made to favor the interests of hunters, as hunting and fishing are the revenue generators of the commission. Aubyn Royall, Colorado State Director, Humane Society, opposed the decision by saying that, "The Commission's approval of the state's two proposals imposes a death sentence on hundreds of Colorado's mountain lions and black bears, including their dependent kittens and cubs, and the decision disregards thousands of Coloradans who voiced their disapproval of these studies."