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A modest proposal for mountain lions

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POSTED March 14, 2011 12:33 a.m.
I read the other day where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has officially declared the Eastern Mountain Lion as extinct. Because they have been officially de-listed, Mountain Lions in the entire eastern seaboard are now regulated by the individual states.

The Florida Panther is still recognized as “threatened by the U.S. FWS, but in the rest of the states, they no longer exist. Apparently several hundred people a year disagree with the official U.S. Government position because they keep reporting Mountain Lion sightings to their local authorities. I suppose it’s remotely possible that the government could make a mistake. But I guess the lions don’t read those U.S. FWS bulletins.

Meanwhile, way out in the land of fruits & nuts, California put a “save the poor mountain lion” initiate on our state ballot & we passed a State Constitutional Amendment prohibiting the hunting of Mountain Lions in California. Since that time the lion population in California has exploded & we now have thousands of lions all over the state. In fact there have been about 2 dozen documented lion attacks on humans in the past 25 years, including 3 fatalities. I have seen deer carcasses and cattle that have been mauled by lions here in California. Mountain lions are very efficient predators and the attacks on humans will continue, because we’re too stupid to hunt them anymore. Oh, well, I just hope it’s not someone you love who is the next Lion kill in California.

I know that I can’t change the wacko government we have here in California, but I do have a modest proposal that might help the situation. We have an active group of talented hound fanciers in California known as the California Houndsmen for Conservation. They are the only kind of hunters who can pursue their quarry, tree them & choose not to kill them. I believe that the CHC members would be willing to catch excess Mountain lions unharmed & ship them to any eastern states who would like to re-populate their woods with mountain lions. Of course it would take cutting through a bunch of government red tape and there are undoubtedly innumerable hurdles to overcome, but what the heck have we got to loose?

I think I’ll send a copy of this column to my local State Senator Tom Berryhill, and my Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, & see if they’re willing to contact the California Department of Fish & Game to explore this issue. We could reduce our Lion over-population and help some of our eastern states re-populate theirs. I’d even be willing to work with the various parties to help make it happen. What do you say boys? Are you willing to try?

Until Next Week,

Tight Lines
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