In South Dakota, human persecution drove mountain lions locally extinct in 1905 and the state was not recolonized with a breeding pair until the early 1970s. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and it is critical that we monitor and understand population size and dynamics before removing protections.
Despite continually unreliable population estimates, mountain lions in South Dakota are no longer considered a threatened species and are now classified as a big game species. As a hunted species, mountain lions are killed in far greater numbers than their population can likely withstand.
South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is currently in process of revising its 2010-2015 Mountain Lion Management Plan. The draft plan was released at the end of July 2019 for public review and comment. Through September 1, 2019 at 10 PM Pacific Time, the public can submit their comments regarding the draft mountain lion management plan to Commission. For more information go to our Action Alert.
The draft management plan includes current management practices, including the season setting practice, structure, and strategies, population survey information for South Dakota's mountain lions, mountain lion research conducted throughout the state, and more.
A draft of the revised mountain lion management plan can be found online at gfp.sd.gov/management-plans under "Plans Up for Revision".
In September, GFP will submit the final draft management plan to the Commission for their consideration. A public forum will be held at the following location on Thursday, September 5, 2019, from 1:00-5:00 PM MDT:
Spearfish Holiday Inn Convention Center
305 North 27th Street
Spearfish, SD 57783
The public is invited to participate and provide feedback on the draft plan at this meeting.
Public comments will be accepted through 10 PM Pacific Time, September 1, 2019 via their online portal.
To be included in the public record, comments must include a full name and city of residence.
Comments from out of state, or internationally, are welcome.
To learn more about the draft management plan, talking points for your comment letter, and information on how to get involved, visit our Action Alert now!