You’re passionate about protecting our magnificent mountain lions and ensuring their survival for generations to come. You want to make a real difference in the conservation. But how?
One tried and true tactic is writing a Letter to the Editor. If you’re not an avid Letter to the Editor reader, you might not realize just how powerful this tool can be. Rest assured that legislators and other decision makers read these letters to take the pulse of public opinion. Your words – or lack of them – will influence their decisions.
For inspiration, check out this great letter from Mountain Lion Foundation member Scott Parker, published in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
To help you make your voice heard, follow these seven steps on crafting effective and persuasive letters. At the end of this post, you’ll find links to major newspapers in mountain lion habitat.
Grab Attention with a Strong Open
Begin your letter with a compelling and attention-grabbing opening statement. A thought-provoking sentence or two will pique the interest of both the readers and the editorial staff. Use vivid language or share a personal anecdote to draw the reader in and create an emotional connection.
Be Concise, Stay Focused
Most papers have a limit between 150 and 300 words, so it’s crucial to keep your letter concise. Stay focused on one topic — in this case, mountain lions — and avoid going off on tangents that may dilute your main point. Use clear and simple language to convey your message effectively.
Present Facts and Statistics
Back up your arguments with solid facts, statistics, and credible sources. When discussing the importance of protecting mountain lions, provide information about their declining populations, habitat loss, and the critical role they play in maintaining ecosystem balance. Feel free to use anything you find on this website, or email us if you’d like a review of your letter. Well-supported arguments add credibility to your letter and make it harder to dismiss.
Be Respectful and Constructive
Maintain a respectful and constructive tone throughout your letter. Avoid personal attacks or aggressive language. Instead, focus on educating and informing readers about the importance of mountain lions and the potential consequences of inaction. Present alternative solutions or policy recommendations that can help address the challenges they face.
Personalize Your Letter
Add a personal touch to your letter to make it stand out. Share your own experiences or encounters with mountain lions and explain how these encounters have deepened your understanding of these animals and the challenges they face. Personal stories evoke empathy and can inspire others to take action.
Add a Call to Action
End your letter with a clear call to action. Encourage readers to join you in supporting legislative measures that protect mountain lions. Provide information on how they can get involved, such as contacting their local representatives, signing petitions, or supporting organizations like the Mountain Lion Foundation. Head to our Action Alerts page to find current calls to action.
Proofread and Submit
Before sending your letter, proofread it thoroughly for grammar, spelling, and clarity. A well-written and error-free letter is more likely to be taken seriously. Check that you haven’t exceeded their word count and that you’ve followed all other submission guidelines. Then hit send! The best letter is a sent letter.
If you’ve submitted a letter, let us know so that we can amplify it on social media or share it directly with decision-makers in your area. You can mail your letter, or a send link to the published letter, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mountain Lion Foundation can only protect these iconic creatures and their habitats because you are willing to use your voice. By expressing your concerns and sharing your knowledge through a Letter to the Editor, you can play a vital role in influencing public opinion and improving decisions.
Together, we make a difference.
You can find more letter-writing advice on our Become an Advocate page.
Where to Submit Your Letters