Editoria: MountainLions

Editorial: Mountain lions are ‘cash cows’ for some groups

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Dec 11, 2019

There are always those who will believe in anything, and there are those here in California who still believe that mountain lions are threatened or in some other way their population numbers will go down here in the state. It will never happen for a variety of reasons, but the three big ones are: they are protected by state law, they keep having babies, and they adapt to human encroachment.

You would think that it’s those who live in downtown Los Angeles or in San Diego, but no, you can find them across the state here and there, usually in groups where they feed off bogus information and share it with each other.

The Mountain Lion Foundation, a group of bozo cat-lovers who have no clue of “natural balance,” and the Center for Biological Diversity, an equally ignorant group that believes ants are as important as humans, have filed a petition with the Calif. Fish and Game commission to list one small group of mountain lions in a couple small areas of California at “threatened” under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

Well, duh! If we want to look at it in square mile segments here in California, there are tons of areas where mountain lions are already “extinct.” But even there, you can go a few miles in any direction and find mountain lions. Fact is, threatened and endangered species aren’t determined by square feet of countryside, but by overall population counts, and mountain lions in California are anything but threatened. In fact, they are thriving!

The petition was considered by the Fish and Game Commission at their Dec. 11-12 meeting, before our deadline, but even so, we know what the Commission said ahead of time: “Mountain lion populations are not considered by ‘Evolutionary Significant Units (ESU)’ in the state, but by overall population numbers. And they are not ‘threatened’ or ‘endangered’ in the state.”

Proposition 117’s proponents and California’s voters elected not to list mountain lions as threatened when they approved Proposition 117 in 1990, and neither Petitioners nor the Commission may seek to overturn the will of the voters by approving the petitioned action.

For the majority of California’s population, it’s good news that more protections aren’t afforded mountain lions, because dogs, cats, livestock and even humans would find themselves in even more danger than we already are, with lions in and around habited areas, and growing in numbers.

Threatened and endangered species are always considered by overall population numbers, which is only sensible. But not for groups like the Mountain Lion Foundation or HSUS. For them, mountain lions are “cash cows” that bring in substantial “do­nations” to their organizations.

Too bad that money doesn’t go to the DFW for more management of species, instead of money-mongers who pay themselves exorbitant salaries.

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