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Now, more than ever, the world needs independent journalism. With such journalism, specifically focused on wildlife and the habitats they depend on for life, stories emerge and unfold in powerful and meaningful ways, revealing the full impacts, consequences and possibilities of the issues at hand. As a result, a clearer vision of the issues appears, and difficult decisions about environmental and wildlife policy, legislation, advocacy, and conservation become clear. And furthermore, the public remains informed and educated. Independent journalism is free to investigate the full range of these critical issues, and by situating them in their proper context, provide information necessary for determining effective solutions. This species of journalism is an integral part of these solutions.

My name is Rico Moore, and I’m an independent journalist reporting on wildlife and environmental issues in Colorado, and the aforementioned vision is the core of my journalism. I’m asking for a tax-deductible donation to continue this work because without support, it won’t continue and thrive.

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This work has focused on Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) predator control plans, which since their passage in December 2016, have generated significant controversy, along with two lawsuits, at both the state and federal levels.

CPW plans to kill hundreds of Colorado’s mountain lions and black bears over the next nine years in the name of scientific research to increase mule deer populations, but preeminent wildlife biologists assert doing so wouldn’t have that effect and may even negatively impact ecosystems, and conservation organizations allege the plans are a violation of law.

And in the democratic spirit of the fourth estate, I’ve been investigating the merits and motives of these plans and their related issues, publishing before unreported on findings in the independent newspaper, Boulder Weekly (see: Rico Moore: Essays & Articles).

And because the creation of these articles is very research and time intensive, along with the fact they don’t sell for enough to cover the cost of living while they’re being created, your tax-deductible donation will continue to make this important and necessary work possible.

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In the context of CPW’s predator control plans, my investigative journalism has covered and uncovered:

  • Original interviews with CPW officials, in which they give their perspective;
  • Before unreported history of the predator control plans’ development;
  • Apparent contradictions in CPW’s stance on oil and gas impacts to mule deer in different contexts;
  • Potential influence of oil and gas industry funding on CPW’s mule deer research;
  • How CPW appears to have translocated “nuisance” black bears into the area they were studying bear predation on mule deer fawns; research that partly forms the basis of CPW’s predator control plans;
  • The potential link between CPW’s predator control plans and game damage payments to livestock owners;
  • Two lawsuits, filed in district and federal court, against the plans;
  • Current scientific research that is applicable to the plans;
  • And the potential ideological underpinnings of the plans.

And in my investigations, I’ve found more stories to tell and more issues to bring to the public’s view, including:

  • The narrative the plans appear to fit into, how this narrative is used and by whom;
  • Before unreported on stories regarding CPW and the oil and gas industry, apparently including other state agencies;
  • The story of a wolf that dispersed from Montana and died in Colorado in 2009 and the larger story of wolves in the West her journey represents;
  • And more.

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I’m constantly monitoring the challenges facing wildlife in Colorado, the human impacts on them and the habitats they depend on for life, along with the public and private entities who hold a stake. I see my work as a journalist as a necessary function in a strong democracy.

Your tax-deductible donation is important and appreciated, and will be used to further this work of independent, investigative journalism devoted to the wildlife and environment of Colorado, along with their interrelationship with Colorado citizens.

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Thank you