CULTURE MATTERS: The Cougar Fund hosts discussion
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – What’s the first thing you think of when you see the animal pictured above? Maybe ten percent of people will respond with something “Westernly” witty like, “BANG!” or “Makes a good target.” The majority of the population questions the need to kill mountain lions for sport. At least that was the prevailing thought on May 9 at a Game & Fish meeting to discuss hunting quotas for the upcoming mountain lion season.
The Cougar Fund will host an evening of discussion concerning conservation in the 21st century and how wildlife management policies need to change with the times and better reflect the voice of non-hunters.
“There is a disconnect between the general public and the paid government officials who decide the fate of our wildlife species,” says Cara Blessley Lowe, co-founder of The Cougar Fund and moderator of the evening’s talk. “And game agencies aren’t set up for the participation of the non-hunter in their version of ‘wildlife conservation.’”
The event will feature four prominent speakers including co-founder and acclaimed nature photographer Thomas Mangelsen who said, “I was told that the role of the Wyoming Game & Fish Department is to provide hunting opportunity. If you’re not interested in killing an animal there is no box to tick, so essentially your voice pretty much goes unheard.”
“Killing, Cougars, and Compassionate Conservation: The Future of Wild Animals” 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, at Mangelen’s Images of Nature Gallery at 170 N. Cache St. The event is free and open to the public. Contact The Cougar Fund at 733-0797.