Environment

Jan 10, 2013 2:30 PM by Lauren Molenburg

Court upholds decision on elk thinning in US park

DENVER (AP) - A federal appeals court is upholding the National Park Service's decision not to reintroduce wolves to Rocky Mountain National Park to control the elk population.

WildEarth Guardians had argued that the Park Service violated environmental laws when it ruled out using wolves and when it decided to use trained volunteers to help Park Service employees shoot and kill excess elk.

A federal judge in 2011 ruled that the agency took a hard look at relevant data before concluding that reintroducing wolves wasn't a feasible option and that volunteers' shooting the elk to limit the population wasn't the same as hunting, which involves shooting for food or sport. Hunting is generally banned within the park.

On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judge's ruling.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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