Wednesday, November 26, 2014

SDGFP announces annual cougar killing derby

The removal of apex predators has triggered trophic cascades in numerous biomes throughout the US and the Bureau of Land Management has stopped at least one killing derby in the Mountain West.

A multi-year study tracking North Dakota’s mountain lion population indicates the number of big cats is trending downward. In August 2011, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, in conjunction with South Dakota State University, embarked on a $218,000 study funded by Pittman-Roberston excise tax money. [Bismarck Tribune]
It's widely acknowledged that the Black Hills cougar population has been strong because of the absence of a viable wolf population. South Dakota's GOP-owned Game, Fish and Parks apparently wants to increase a wolf presence.
Black Hills residents have a love-hate relationship with livestock predators — for ranchers, it's mostly hate — and a South Dakota School of Mines & Technology professor is studying how those historic attitudes toward wolves, mountain lions and coyotes have evolved. Frank Van Nuys, a history professor speaking in both a Tuesday lecture and an interview, said the relationship between humans and such animals had been largely antagonistic right up to the late 20th century. [Rapid City Journal]
President Obama, it's time to rewild the West: tear out the main stem dams, extend the CM Russell Wildlife Refuge to Oacoma, South Dakota along the Missouri River and to Yellowstone then to the Yukon.

Sir, please move the US Forest Service and its associated lands into the Park Service under tribal management and protect public properties from the destructive forces that just bought the recent midterm election.

It’s time for cougars to enjoy Endangered Species protection and for you, Mr. President, to dissolve the Black Hills National Forest; and, in cooperation with BIA Forestry and Wildfire Management and the US Park Service, rename it Okawita Paha National Monument then make it part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge.

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