COUGARS IN THE CROSSHAIRS
Ranchers Sue to Save Cougars
On Wednesday, January 23, 2008 a group of ranchers, along with wildlife advocates, filed suit in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Oregon to stop the federal government from indiscriminately killing cougars
across the state. The plaintiffs charge that officials at the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services did not examine all the adverse environmental impacts of their decision
to kill cougars on behalf of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife,
in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. In 2006,
the state approved a plan to kill up to 2,000 cougars across Oregon.
The federal government then agreed to help carry out that plan.
Click here to watch news coverage of cougar issue.
The expansive killing of native carnivores has been a common practice in North America since European colonists arrived.
In more recent years, lethal damage control programs and trophy hunts have taken their toll on wolves, bears, coyotes,
bobcats, and foxes across the continent. Cougars, in particular, have faced ruthless persecution and
continue to be the target of trophy hunters and wildlife “management” officials. For example, in Oregon,
more cougars are being killed than ever before, even though voters outlawed the cruel practice of
hound-hunting the big cats in 1994. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has become little more than
an advocacy group for trophy hunters. Since the hounding ban was passed, the Department has accommodated hunters
by reducing the cougar hunting tag price and expanding cougar hunting seasons to year-round.
The agency recently launched its Cougar Management Plan, which calls for killing up to 2,000 cougars
over the next four years.
Last year, lawmakers recently enacted legislation that allows hunters to use hounds to implement the cougar killing plan.
With the passage of the pro-hounding bill, the Oregon government has removed virtually every protection
for Oregon’s cougars.
To read Big Wildlife's extensive comments about cougars to state officials click here.
To see the horror of hound hunting of cougars watch video below.
WARNING: Video is extremely disturbing.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SAVE OREGON'S COUGARS
Please take three simple steps to protect Oregon’s big cats:
1.) WRITE a letter to the editor voicing your opposition to the slaughter of cougars.
For your convenience, Big Wildlife has provided a sample letter to the editor below. BE SURE TO PERSONALIZE THE LETTER,
otherwise it will look like a form letter. Please submit letter before January 5 to ensure it is published prior to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission
hearing at which the panel will draft rules for houndsmen.
SAMPLE LETTER TO EDITOR
Last summer, lawmakers – prodded by Governor Ted Kulongoski and Senators Alan Bates and Brad Avakian –
ignored Oregonians and voted to once again allow hunters to pursue cougars with packs of hounds. On January 11, the Oregon Fish and
Wildlife Commission will meet to draft new rules for houndsmen to chase the wild cats. Once the rules are adopted, the state will deputize hunters with dogs
to kill up to 2,000 cougars in the state. In 1994, voters passed Measure 18 to ban hounding of cougars and bears because they believe hounding is cruel.
We also approved the initiative because we support strong protections for our state's wildlife. I urge Oregon officials to abandon their ill-conceived plans
to slaughter one of the state’s most magnificent species.
2. ) CONTACT Governor Ted Kulongoski. Tell him you are disappointed he signed HB 2971 into law and
urge him to halt the Cougar Management Plan.
Phone the Governor at: (503) 986-6530
Or email his staff at: