CULTURE MATTERS: The Cougar Fund hosts discussion

By on May 21, 2013
Recent photo of a mountain lion at an undisclosed residence. Photographer said, “I wish to keep the location secret so Game & Fish won’t come trap it or kill it.”

Recent photo of a mountain lion at an undisclosed residence. Photographer said, “I wish to keep the location secret so Game & Fish won’t come trap it or kill it.”

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.


About Jake Nichols

Jake is a work in progress.

3 Comments

  1. Tricia Bizic Meddles

    May 27, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    WHY would ANYONE want to kill one of these beautiful creatures????????/

  2. jimmy

    May 28, 2013 at 4:53 am

    it is sick way the hell do they kill cougars for as it is not the animals foult it is the humans foult. and cougars is a animal that is on the way to exintions and it is bad really bad to kill any of them . pot a stop to the hunting of cougars.

  3. BobMc

    May 28, 2013 at 9:22 am

    All wildlife is held in the public trust, and agencies of the state should exercise fiduciary duty to that trust. F&G agencies in most states work not only against the public trust by catering to hunters, but also against the fiscal well-being of the state. Wyoming, for instance, ignores both the science of cougars’ impact on habitat and stream health, but also the number of people involved in outdoor recreation and their associated expenditures.

    According to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, Wyoming had 140,000 people hunt in WY, and those hunters spent $289 Million. Fishing though, accounted for 303,000 anglers, and $464 M. Wildlife watchers ponied up numbers of 182,000 participants that spent $350 Million.

    Mountain lions are probably not an animal that wildlife watchers expect to see, other than in a lucky glimpse. However, scientific studies show that cougars contribute to riparian health, maintaining (or restoring) habitat for songbirds, butterflies, native fish, and multiple other species. As the habitat improves, there is increased draw for fishing and wildlife watching. Even hunting improves, for those actual hunters who care to leave the vehicle and road surface and get out where wild animals live.

    F&G departments that allow trophy-hunting of apex predators are part of the nation’s system of iron-triangles that cater to the few, at the expense of the vast majority, including future generations that will live in an impoverished world because petty bureaucrats lacked moral fibre to do what is best for the environment, and ultimately, us.

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