Protecting Cougars and Bears from Wildlife Services in Colorado

WELC, along with partners WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity are challenging a controversial, experimental U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services plan to kill wild carnivores in Colorado’s Piceance Basin and Upper Arkansas River regions. The plan was designed to increase mule deer populations by killing up to 120 black bears and mountain lions.

Our case alleges that Wildlife Services failed to fully analyze the environmental impacts of its destruction of wildlife in Colorado, including other native carnivores like coyotes and foxes. Indeed, the best available science shows habitat loss from oil and gas development is the driving factor in mule deer decline, not predation from black bears and mountain lions.

In November 2017, we came to an agreement with Wildlife Services that it would study the impacts of its plan more thoroughly and cease killing bears and mountain lions until the study is completed. It’s a big swing to go from deciding to ignore the best available science to halting potentially harmful wildlife killing while improving the science. We’ll keep an eye on the situation as it unfolds.