DENVER – Colorado officials are considering a predator control plan that calls for euthanizing more mountain lions and black bears to boost the state’s dwindling deer population.
The Denver Post reported that Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s proposal to kill up to 15 more mountain lions and 25 more bears a year would take effect this winter. The predator control experiment would begin in the Arkansas River Basin before expanding to the Piceance Basin this spring.
Conservationists, hunting groups and state biologists have cited oil and gas operations as having an impact on deer populations, among other factors.
But the state wildlife agency hasn’t yet taken a stance on a federal plan to allow up to 15,000 new oil and gas wells on prime deer habitat in northwestern Colorado.
State wildlife commissioners are expected to decide on the predator control plan by Dec. 15.