Colorado officials won’t release Roan Plateau culling data on bears, mountain lions
GRAND JUNCTION (AP) — Colorado wildlife officials are refusing to release the results of the first year of culling mountain lions and bears on the Roan Plateau.
The Daily Sentinel reports that Colorado Parks and Wildlife turned down its request for the information because of a lawsuit challenging the program, which is aimed at boosting the mule deer population. It also invoked a state law that allows it to keep research data secret until the study is complete.
The agency’s research plan calls for trying to kill up to 15 cougars and 25 bears a year for three years each May and June to see if that helps more fawns survive.
It also plans to study the results of killing lions in the Upper Arkansas River Valley.
The conservation group WildEarth Guardians sued over both efforts earlier this year.
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Studies by Colorado Parks and Wildlife show the survival of elk calves in the Roaring Fork Valley has dropped about 33 percent in the last decade. White River National Forest officials said they need to act to try to reserve that trend. They are seeking public comment on their plan.