Lion in woods looking at California state capitol with AB 1784 in between. Text Protect Research Save Lions PASSED.

California Mountain Lion Research Bill Passed!


Thanks to your help, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1784. Dedicated researchers can now continue to humanely study the elusive cats to help us better understand and protect the American lion for generations to come. Thank you to everyone who wrote and called Governor Brown!

OUTCOME: California Assembly Bill 1784 Passed!

On Friday, July 13th, California Assembly Bill 1784 — authorizing scientific research on mountain lions in California — was signed by Governor Jerry Brown, making the bill a law. AB 1784, introduced by Assembly Member Bill Monning, is the culmination of work that occurred over more than a year by the Mountain Lion Foundation and other concerned parties to restore lion research after the California Department of Fish and Game suddenly decided at the beginning of 2011 that there was no legal statute allowing them to authorize research on mountain lions.

These crucial research projects are helping us better understand the health of the species and to identify and protect the critical habitat and wildlife corridors upon which lions depend.

Photo of mountain lion in dark woods sniffing ground.
While MLF wanted to see these projects continue, the protection of lions is our top priority and we are well aware that not all studies titled "research" are in the best interest of the mountain lions. For example, researchers in other states are conducting studies to see what happens to deer when most of the lions in a particular area are suddenly killed off. Sport hunting is also considered to be a form of scientific research in many western states. It was difficult to write an amendment that would evaluate all projects, prohibit those that might harm a lion, and to still allow those necessary projects that truly help to protect California's lions.

Just as Proposition 117 was a landmark initiative in 1990 to protect mountain lions from sport hunters, AB 1784 is a groundbreaking step in authorizing humane scientific research. Among other things, it explicitly requires that projects be designed to support the survival of the species, not to intentionally kill any lions, keep detailed records, and also make reported information available to the public. During many of the discussions over drafted language, MLF was frequently criticized for putting in parameters that were "stricter than regulations on endangered species!"

But MLF did not back down. We think America's lion deserves the highest level of protection... can you blame us?

Today, not only are we pleased AB 1784 has passed, but we are proud to learn it is now being considered by other animal protection organizations as a model for wildlife research legislation. Thank you to everyone who contacted Governor Brown, shared the alert, and helped pass AB 1784!

Click here to read the final text of AB 1784

ORIGINAL ACTION ALERT
AB 1784: Mountain Lion Research Bill on its Way to the Governor

Monday (July 2, 2012), California Assembly Bill 1784 — authorizing scientific research on mountain lions — passed out of the legislature and is now headed to Governor Brown's desk for signing. AB 1784, introduced by Assembly Member Bill Monning, is the culmination of almost a year and a half's work on the part of the Mountain Lion Foundation to restore lion research after the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) suddenly decided at the beginning of 2011 that there was no legal statute allowing them to authorize such work. Click here to read the HR4089 legislation.

Collaborating with an assortment of conservation organizations, California's dedicated mountain lion researchers, CDFG's Wildlife Division, and of course, Bethany Westfall of Assembly Member Monning's office, MLF was able to craft an amendment to Proposition 117 — The Mountain Lion Initiative — which not only allows CDFG to authorize lion research in California but also ensures that such research will benefit the species and never be used as an excuse to carry out so called "scientific hunts."

While this bill easily passed out of the legislature, its fate is still uncertain. In the past, Governor Brown has clearly demonstrated his support for mountain lion protection but his main focus these days is the state's fiscal woes, and mountain lion research might appear to be a frivolous and unnecessary luxury for these troubled times.


Now We Need Your Help!

MLF is calling on all mountain lion activists to contact Governor Brown and ask him to sign this bill. AB 1784 is critical to the continued survival of California's lions because it will:

  • Assure the continued existence of California's apex predator in key regions of the state.
  • Help us better understand this mysterious cat and put us one step closer to ensuring the species' survival for generations to come.
  • Assist us in determining how lions use landscapes on the urban/rural interface.
  • Identify those corridors and core wildland habitats that are critical for all wildlife.
  • And so much more.

For an inside look at mountain lion research, read Beating the Odds by MLF's Biologist and Outreach Coordinator, Amy Rodrigues, as she spends an evening with researchers capturing a lion in southern California's Santa Ana mountain range.

At the same time we also encourage you to contact Assembly Member Monning and thank him and his staff for their tireless work to make mountain lion research in California a reality once more.

Photo of mountain lion in snow.

Find out more on how to become a Mountain Lion Activist



Governor Jerry Brown

c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173

Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 445-2841

Fax: (916) 558-3160

Online Contact Form



Assembly Member Bill Monning

Capitol Office:

State Capitol

P.O. Box 942849

Sacramento, CA 94249-0027

Tel: (916) 319-2027

Fax: (916) 319-2127

Online Contact Form


Santa Cruz County District Office

701 Ocean Street, 318-B

Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Tel: (831) 425-1503

Fax: (831) 425-2570


Monterey / Santa Clara County District Office

99 Pacific Street, Suite 555D

Monterey, CA 93940

Tel: (831) 649-2832

Fax: (831) 649-2935

Santa Clara County

Direct Tel Line: (408) 782-0647



About the Mountain Lion Foundation.

The Mountain Lion Foundation, founded in 1986, is a national nonprofit organization protecting mountain lions and their habitat. The mountain lion is also known as cougar, puma, panther, and catamount.

We believe that mountain lions are in peril. Our nation is on the verge of destroying this apex species upon which whole ecosystems depend. Hunting mountain lions is morally unjustified, and killing lions to prevent conflicts is ineffective and dangerous. There is a critical need to know more about the biology, behavior, and ecology of mountain lions, and governments should base decisions upon truthful science, valid data, and the highest common good. Conserving critical lion habitat is essential.

Together, we can save America's lion.



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