Colorado

Aug 26, 2010 8:52 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Deer population drops in Roaring Fork Valley

State wildlife officials say development and recreation have contributed to the declining number of deer in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is looking at lowering the population goal and changing the number of hunting licenses issued for the area that stretches from Aspen to Glenwood Springs to bring the numbers in line.

The current target of 11,100 deer was set in 1988. Wildlife officials say the five-year average has been 7,400 deer.

Wildlife officers say development has forced the animals out of winter habitat.

They say such activities as cross-country skiing and biking also add pressure and seasonal closures of land to protect wildlife should be followed.

Another factor is fire suppression, which has prevented regeneration of habitat.

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