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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Our friends at COUGAR REWILDING forcefully and in clear prose outline their rejection of Nebraska's new plans to kill off 18-27% of the 15-22 Pumas occupying the Pine Ridge National Forest..............We have discussed the insanity of hunting this small population(the most Eastern lying of a Puma breeding population in the USA) ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Proven Science states that killing off more than 14% of a Puma population leads to a slippery slope downward in the # of animals, disrupts their social order and increases the likelihood of conflicts with people and livestock...............As Chris Spatz of Cougar Rewilding states in the article below: "The safest way to manage any cougar population is to leave it alone" – "cougars police themselves" ..............Nebraska should only kill those Pumas that actually cause problmems, not instituting a trophy hunting season without rhyme and reason!

Nebraska Game & Parks concludes
their 2013 Recommendations for Mountain Lion Hunting
 with these words:
"The Commission intends to manage mountain
 lion populations over time with consideration
 given to social acceptance, effects on prey
 populations, depredation on pets and livestock,
 and human safety."

Conducting neither public attitude surveys about
 cougars, nor providing cougar deer predation data
 (the deer population appears to be robust), nor
 providing data on pet and livestock damage from
cougars (there have been no incidents documented in
 Nebraska), nor has there been a single incident of a
 cougar predating a person informing the Commission's recommendations. Absent examples of conflict in the
 document, the Cougar Rewilding Foundation has
requested information on all these "considerations,"
 but Nebraska Game & Parks has provided none.
 They didn't even respond.
Nebraska is targeting for reduction a stable and
recovering cougar population that has conducted
 itself admirably.  Why mess with it? 
Make no mistake, Nebraska Game and Parks are basing their Mountain Lion Hunting recommendations on fear and prejudice – not experience or science.  
The agency has revised an earlier proposal to take two males or one female from a breeding population of 15-22 cats up to 4 cats with a 2 female sub quota (18% – 27% of the total estimate) in the Pine Ridge National Forest, with the stated aim of reducing the Pine Ridge population, while installing an unlimited year-round season for 85% of the state.
You know by now that taking more than 14% of a cougar population (average yearly reproduction rate) disrupts cougar social order, increasing the likelihood of the very things this proposal wishes to contain: conflicts among pets, livestock, people and cougars. The safest way to manage any cougar population is to leave it alone – cougars police themselves – taking problem individuals out at the source. 
The Cougar Rewilding Foundation is not against hunting based on sound science. But once again, we have a state hunting proposal in a national forest – owned by every US taxpayer, not just Nebraskans –  that ignores science. We might recommend a reduced quota, but given the bald refusal of peer-reviewed management guidelines, we're suggesting the Commissioners scrap this proposal and get honest, rather than sacrifice one cat as a compromise.
The next public hearing will take place Friday July 26, 2013 in Lincoln.
Write the Governor, the Commission(ers), and Supervisor of Nebraska's National Forests by Wednesday, July 24. The Cougar Fund has provided afact sheet with talking points, and a sample letter with addresses to all the necessary officials. 

Posted in Action AlertHuntingNebraska
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