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Conservation groups sue feds over plans to kill bears, mountain lions

Courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Earlier this month, three conservation organizations sued the federal government over a plan to kill bears and mountain lions near Rifle.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is conducting two studies where they kill mountain lions and black bears in the Piceance Basin near Rifle and the Upper Arkansas. They think this will strengthen the mule deer population. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is funding the plan, and is being sued by conservation organizations who say there wasn’t sufficient analysis of the environmental risks.

The Center for Biological Diversity, the Humane Society and WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, contending the federal government should have studied the environmental impacts before funding the projects.

The so-called "predator control studies" received strong public opposition; the conservation groups contend that killing mountain lions and bears could cause lasting harm to the ecosystem.

Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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