Wildlife conservation groups sued the U.S. government on Wednesday seeking to halt a plan to trap and kill as many as 120 mountain lions and black bears in Colorado in a bid to stem declines in populations of mule deer favored by hunters.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, accuses the Wildlife Services agency, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, of violating federal law by failing to fully assess potential impacts of the predator-control plan on other native wildlife.
The same agency gained a measure of notoriety after one of its spring-loaded “cyanide bombs,” used for killing coyotes and other “nuisance” animals, went off in the hands of a 14-year-old Idaho boy in March, injuring the youth and killing his pet dog.
Wednesday’s lawsuit cites scientific research showing that habitat loss from oil and gas development, not natural predators, is mostly to blame for Colorado’s plunging mule deer numbers. And it asserts that the plan for killing bears and mountain lions, originally devised by Colorado’s own state wildlife managers, was designed to benefit hunters at public expense.
“The idea of using U.S. taxpayer money to kill native wildlife on public lands is outrageous,” said Matthew Bishop, an attorney for the Western Environmental Law Center, a non-profit firm representing conservation groups in the lawsuit.
The case was brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians.
They are asking a U.S. judge to bar Wildlife Services from implementing the plan before the agency thoroughly studies the likely consequences for the protected Canada lynx and other wildlife, as well as for the environment as a whole.
A Wildlife Services spokesman declined to comment on pending litigation.
The plan, which conservation groups had already challenged separately in state court, calls for the federal agency to conduct trapping and shooting of as many as 45 mountain lions and 75 bears in western Colorado over three years to boost mule deer numbers there.
The federal lawsuit also contests various lethal strategies Wildlife Services employs to remove animals believed to be harassing or harming livestock, saying such methods endanger wildlife other than animals that are targeted.
Among those are foothold traps, body-crushing traps, aerial gunning and the use of toxic gas cartridges to spray animals with sodium cyanide or to emit carbon monoxide into wildlife dens.
Wildlife Services on Monday suspended use of spring-loaded M-44s cyanide canisters in Idaho after last month’s accident involving the boy and his dog.
(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman in Salmon, Idaho; Editing by Steve Gorman and Sandra Maler)
Trump is facing massive criticism for his attacks on young women of color in Congress
US President Donald Trump came under fire from Democrats and even some members of his own Republican Party on Monday after launching an extraordinary xenophobic attack on four progressive Democratic congresswomen.
"All they do is complain," Trump told reporters at a White House event featuring products "Made in America."
"These are people that hate our country," he said of the four lawmakers. "If you're not happy here, you can leave."
Trump also accused the four first-term congresswomen -- who are of Hispanic, Arab, Somali and African American origin -- of having "love" for US "enemies like Al-Qaeda."
Trump’s campaign is spending massively at his own businesses — and even more on lawyers
President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election campaign filed their latest campaign finance reports on Monday.
Anna Massoglia, a researcher at the money in politics watchdog group Open Secrets, dissected the numbers and made two startling discoveries.
In the three months covered, from April through June, Trump's campaign and affiliated joint fundraising committees spent $326,094.24 at Trump businesses, including six figures at both Mar-a-Lago and Trump Hotel DC.
Trump's campaign also spent over $1.3 million on legal bills. He spent approximately $7 million on legal bills in 2018, Massoglia noted.
Trump is ‘one pointy white hat shy of a Klan rally’: GOP strategist Rick Wilson ripped Trump as a ‘flagrant racist’ on MSNBC
Republican strategy ripped President Donald Trump for being a "flagrant racist" during a Monday night appearance on MSNBC.
Lawrence O'Donnell interviewed Wilson about Trump's latest nativist attacks on young women of color in Congress.
"Rick Wilson, is this a campaign strategy? Is this Donald Trump and his campaign advisers thinking, well, our only hope is going for the voters we already have and energizing them and getting them to come and squeak out that electoral formula once again?" O'Donnell asked.
"Absolutely, Lawrence. As everyone else stated on the show, it’s been obvious for a long time from the long arc of his dad to redling to the Central Park Five to birtherism to this stuff today, this guy, he's racist adjacent in of the best day of his life," Wilson is explained.