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Cougar plan causes uproar among conservationists

Cougar plan causes uproar among conservationists

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Board will consider a new cougar management plan next week, but it’s not sitting well with some big-cat advocates.

With the new plan, state officials will start taking populations of mule deer and bighorn sheep into account when they decide how many cougars hunters can harvest. It’s part of the Utah DWR’s efforts to take a holistic approach in wildlife management. But the new method flies in the face of the best wildlife science, according to the Humane Society of the U.S.

“There’s this mythology that if you hammer part of the predator population, you’ll get more prey populations, but that’s not the case,” said Wendy Keefover, the Denver-based native carnivore protection manager for the Humane Society. “The most important thing for deer populations is to have access to adequate nutrition.”

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