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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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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Our friend Chris Spatz, President of COUGAR REWILDING shares with us today the video of the Panel Discussion on MOUNTAIN LIONS(PUMAS) IN MAINE that took place two weeks ago on June 28 in Damariscotta, Maine..............."Panelists included environmental journalist and author Will Stolzenburg, whose recent book, Heart of a Lion, retraces a male mountainlion's 2,000-mile journey from the American West to the North Atlantic coast(Connecticut) in search of a mate"........"Also on the panel were Mark McCollough, endangered species specialist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Maine Field Office and USFWS's lead eastern cougar biologist; DRA vice president Peter McKinley, research ecologist and conservation planner with The Wilderness Society and Mr. Spatz"................"The discussion was moderated by John Davis, a wildways advocate and conservation athlete for the Wildlands Network and The Rewilding Institute, and author of the BIG, WILD AND CONNECTED book series".............Watch the entire discussion by clicking on the link below and you will come away with first hand knowledge of how the restoration of the Puma in the East will restore a triad of beauty, health and ecological balance to the beautiful but terribly species deficient eastern woodlands

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Christopher Spatz ;
Date: July 11, 2017 at 5:56:28 AM PDT
To: , "" ;
Subject: Mountain Lions in Maine: Rewilding the Maine Woods

Click here to watch the video from the panel discussion.

Here's the press release for background:

Panel Discussion of Mountain Lions in Maine on June 28
DAMARISCOTTA, ME — BookSpeak, a literary forum based in Damariscotta will hold a panel discussion by scientists and environmental writers titled "Mountain Lions in Maine: Rewilding the Maine Woods" on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.  The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Darrows Barn at DRA's Round Top Farm, 3 Round Top Lane in Damariscotta.

Panelists include environmental journalist and author Will Stolzenburg, whose recent book, Heart of a Lion, retraces a male mountainlion's 2,000-mile journey from the American West to the North Atlantic coast in search of a mate; Mark McCollough, endangered species specialist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Maine Field Office and USFWS's lead eastern cougar biologist; DRA vice president Peter McKinley, research ecologist and conservation planner with The Wilderness Society; and Chris Spatz, president of the Cougar Rewilding Foundation.

The discussion will be moderated by John Davis, a wildways advocate and conservation athlete for the Wildlands Network and The Rewilding Institute, and author of the Big, Wild and Connected book series.

"Maine residents live in one of the wildest states in the East, yet the beauty of our natural environment makes it easy to forget we've lost many of our iconic wildlife species," said Davis. "It's important for the public to hear about the challenges involved in bringing large, apex predators, specifically the cougar — aka, mountain lion, puma, panther — and other wildlife back to their native habitat in the Northeast corridor, and how human communities can adapt to co-exist with and even benefit from them."
DRA's Director of Education and Environmental Sarah Gladu agrees that predators play a critical role in overall ecological health and human well-being.

"Predatory animals help control tick populations by preying on animals that are key hosts for ticks, for example," Gladu said. "And think of how reintroduced wolves in Yellowstone have improved water quality in rivers there. 
Learning to live alongside predators comes with its challenges, but also with benefits we may not have considered. DRA is very pleased to help sponsor this conversation in our community."
Sponsors of the event include Damariscotta River Association, Pemaquid Watershed Association, Medomak Valley Land Trust, Midcoast Conservancy, and 12 Rivers Conservation Initiative.

"If we truly want our missing mountain lions to reclaim their rightful home in the East, they've proven themselves more than willing to do the heavy lifting," adds Stolzenburg. "All they ask of us is a little understanding, which is what this forum is about."

A reception will follow the discussion, with books available from Kelly's Books To Go for purchase and signing. Tickets are $8 per person and are available online through Brown Paper Tickets ( or by calling 1-800-838-3006, or may be purchased at the door for $10 per person. For further information contact: Nicole Olivier, Founding Director,BookSpeak @ 207-350-6823.

Thank you,


"After Altamira, all is decadence. We have invented nothing." Pablo Picasso


Officers and Board of Directors

OfficersPresident: Christopher Spatz  
Past President: Todd Lester, WVA Coal Miner, Conservationist, ECF Founder.Dr. Jay Tischendorf
Vice President: Dr. John Laundre'
Treasurer: Todd Lester 
Membership Chair: Kerry Gyekis
Newsletter Editor: Staff  
Facebook Moderator: Julia Smith
Internship Coordinator:  Dr. Marcella Kelly, Va Tech
Board of Directors:
Todd Lester, coal miner, houndsmen, Eastern Cougar Foundation founder.

Chris Bolgiano, ECF/CRF co-founder, writer and author of articles, investigative reports, radio commentaries, and several books including two on the eastern cougar. Retired adjunct professor at James Madison University.

Dr. Jay Tischendorf, wildlife veterinarian, Yellowstone cougar researcher, organizer of the 1994 Eastern Cougar Conference, and co-organizer of the 2004 Eastern Cougar Conference.
Kerry Gyekis, Pennsylvania-based Forester, Land Planner, Hunter, and former Peace Corps Volunteer.
Christopher Spatz, MSW, rock climber and New York-based conservationist.
Dr. John LaundrĂ©, pioneering conservation biologist in predator ecology. Studied cougars in the West and in Mexico for more than 20 years.  He now lives and works in southern California.
Ben Shrader, is private practicing civil engineer/land surveyor/soil scientist and a life long outdoor enthusiast.  Ben volunteers for Smithsonian Institution doing a trail camera predator survey along the Appalachian Trail.  He also volunteers for the Virginia Hunter Education Association and is active in Bedford Outdoor Sportsman Association. 
John Davis, wildlands advocate, writer and explorer.  Co-founder of the Wildlands Network.  Formerly director of conservation for the Adirondack Council and land steward for the Eddy Foundation.  He lives in Essex, New York.
Stephanne Dennis, East Tennessee-based sportswoman and Tennessee Big Predator Consultant.
Susan Morse, carnivore expert and director of Keeping Track.
Mark Jenkins, director of Cooper's Rock Mountain Lion Sanctuary for abused captive cougars..
Dr. Marcella Kelly, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Biology at VA Polytechnic Institute who researches jaguars with remote cameras in Belize and black bears in VA.
Website and Blog: Jannette Wing-Pazer; Kwen Fie Cheng; J. Patrick & Associates, Inc., Stephanne Dennis

Mission statement: To facilitate the recovery of the cougar in suitable wild habitat east of the Rocky Mountains.

1. Promote recovery of breeding populations of cougars through natural recolonization and mandated restorations to the central, southeastern and eastern United States, advocating responsible management in habitat where cougars are recovering.
2. Promote full legal protection of all cougars living wild east of the Rockies, regardless of origin.
3. Conduct public education programs by preparing cougar education modules and lesson plans, exhibiting at outdoor and conservation events, and giving presentations to interested groups.
4. Conduct habitat and public attitude surveys.
5. Evaluate evidence and conduct investigations in collaboration with wildlife agencies to document cougar presence along their expanding range into eastern habitat

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