Safari Club International (SCI) and Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) recently submitted a formal joint public comment letter to the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Commission regarding their proposed updates to their West Slope Mountain Lion Management Plan.
The revised plan incorporates several new approaches which will modernize the management of mountain lions across the western slope of the state. These approaches are based on the best available scientific information that have improved our understanding of lion ecology and population monitoring over the last 15 years. Implementing a landscape-level approach will also increase the agency’s ability to use hunting as a management tool for addressing conflict between cougars, humans and livestock.
Hunter harvest is a valuable input to models that assess population trends and can be utilized as a monitoring tool. SCI and SCIF support the use of hunter harvest data in lion population modeling, a common practice among state wildlife authorities and applaud CPW for this approach, which properly balances conservation, human-lion conflict management and hunting opportunity.
Rural Coloradans, hunters and other recreational users know that human-lion conflict is increasing and a concern to public safety. CPW’s updated plan adequately addresses conflict in special units and appropriately uses hunting as a management option among other mitigation tools. The proposed plan is also good for managing certain mule deer herds in Colorado that may be limited by predation.
CPW’s mandate and goal is to manage for a stable lion population while putting public safety first and providing the maximum amount of hunting and other recreational opportunity. SCI and SCIF fully support the proposed updates and urge the Commission to adopt the management plan.