A federal appeals court sided with Rocky Mountain National Park in a dispute with the “animal people” who insisted that wolves should be reintroduced to control the elk population rather than leaving the task to volunteer hunters.
Using the trained volunteers to help Park Service employees shoot and kill excess elk doesn’t violate a hunting ban in national parks, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday.
In ruling on the suit brought by WildEarth Guardians, the court said rules governing hunting in the parks allow the killing of animals that are dangerous to humans or detrimental to the park. “Neither …. the hunting ban nor the exceptions to that ban are based on the identity of the party destroying the animal …. Nor does WildEarth satisfactorily explain why, if NPS personnel can shoot an elk without it being considered hunting, the NPS’s agents cannot do so,” the court said.