If progress is to be made in the world of conservation, diametrically opposed groups are going to have to reach across the table and engage in civil, constructive conversation.
Rangeland managers and mountain lions rarely get along; mountain lions take unprotected livestock, and ranchers and farmers kill lions in retribution. The fate of the mountain lion rests partially on finding nonlethal solutions for rangeland managers, a venture which can only be accomplished if both sides come together and come to mutually beneficial agreements.
That's why the Mountain Lion Foundation attended the 2018 Society for Range Management (SRM) Annual Meeting in Sparks, Nevada. While we had a rough idea of what to anticipate, we weren't fully sure what to expect. The event schedule was filled to the brim with poster sessions, talks from ranchers and livestock owners, and scientific presentations, which drew an audience comprised of livestock owners, researchers, and students alike. Each individual or organization we interacted with seemed eager to learn and to share their experiences with us and one another.
One of our greatest takeaways from the SRM meeting was that ranchers and livestock owners are passionate about the land they live on, and are interested in refining their operating procedures to improve the health of the landscape. Overall, attending the SRM meeting was an incredibly rewarding learning experience. We picked up a lot of information about ranching techniques, relationships between various interest groups, and ways that conservation organizations and livestock owners can work together in order to achieve a common goal.
January 28 - February 2, 2018
The Nugget Hotel