GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Activist groups have filed a third lawsuit in connection to Colorado Parks and Wildlife research projects that aim to determine whether reducing predators could help mule deer numbers.

The Daily Sentinel reports that the suit filed last week targets the research’s primary funding source — the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — which authorized more than $3.4 million in funding.

The state division’s study includes removing five to 15 mountain lions and 10 to 25 bears a year for three years in the Roan Plateau near Rifle. In the Upper Arkansas River Valley, officials are focusing on lion reductions only but plan to continue removing the cats for nine years.

The Center for Biological Diversity, the Humane Society of the United States and WildEarth Guardians filed the suit.

Information from: The Daily Sentinel,