Speak up for South Dakota's lions today!

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks is accepting public comments on the draft Lion Management Plan through 3 PM Pacific Time on August 26, 2019. SDGFP guesses that there are 111 to 970 mountain lions statewide, and the breadth of that estimate shows that they have very little understanding about the vitality of the small population. If the actual mountain lion population is close to 111, then a quota of 60 hunting permits (as in the past few years) would represent a loss of more than half the population annually, and rapid extirpation of lions in South Dakota.

The draft management plan establishes a population objective of 200-300 mountain lions in the Black Hills region. However, this objective is not scientifically sound and falsely reinforces the idea that mountain lion populations need to be managed with lethal force.

Please email South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks by 3 PM Pacific Time on August 26, 2019 and ask for an end to hunting mountain lions. There's just too little habitat, too much human-caused mortality, and too few mountain lions to justify a hunt. Remember, South Dakota's wildlife belongs to everyone, not only to hunters.

The revision will be presented at the September 5-6 GFP Commission meeting in Spearfish and adopted at either the meeting on September 5-6 or October 3-4, along with new hunting season limits that may be proposed in September. The agendas for the meetings will be posted here when it becomes available.

Photo of lion in a snowy pine tree.


Mountain Lion Foundation Comment Letter to the Department

Mountain Lion Foundation Comment Letter to the Commission

Mountain Lion Foundation Comment Letter

September 5-6, 2019 Commission meeting agenda

Draft Management Plan 2019-2029

Prior Management Plan 2010-2015

Proposed Management Plan Schedule

Does hunting regulate cougar populations? A test of the compensatory mortality hypothesis.

Aligning mountain lion hunting seasons to mitigate orphaning dependent kittens.

Here's How to Help:

Public comments will be accepted through
10 p.m. Pacific Time, August 26, 2019.

By mail:

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks
523 E Capitol
Pierre SD 57501

By email:


By 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.

Able to Attend in Person?

Speaking to the Game Agency face-to-face is much more effective than sending an email. So if you are able to attend the meeting, please do so.

WHEN: September 5-6, 2019

WHERE: Spearfish Holiday Inn Convention Center, 305 North 27th Street, Spearfish, SD 57783

Here's What to Say

    • This draft plan is designed to manage mountain lions for maximum trophy hunting opportunity, not for conservation.
    • Mountain lions regulate their own numbers and do not require intense management to limit their populations.
    • Hunting is a bad tool, killing the lions least likely to come into conflict with people, pets and livestock, and creating more space for young dispersing lions that are most likely to come into conflict.
    • Non-lethal methods are more effective and last longer.
    • Killing female mountain lions results in the orphaning of their kittens. Hunting leaves kittens to die from starvation, dehydration, and exposure.
    • Mountain lions are a keystone species in their ecosystems, maintaining biological diversity and other benefits to people.

Please also send MLF a copy of your letter and cc emails to info@mountainlion.org.

Pass It On

Please share this action alert with your friends and family through email and social media. Forward this page to your South Dakota friends and consider sharing it on Facebook.

with everyone you know on Facebook.

Thank you so very much for taking the time to help protect South Dakota's mountain lions!

Join Mountain Lion Foundation!

Additional options for making a gift are available by clicking HERE.

However you choose to contribute, you help to give mountain lions a voice. Thank you!

About the Mountain Lion Foundation

The Mountain Lion Foundation, founded in 1986, is a national nonprofit organization protecting mountain lions and their habitat.

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.



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