The mission of the Mountain Lion Foundation is to ensure that America’s lion survives and flourishes in the wild.

Our Vision

The Mountain Lion Foundation has a vision of a world where lions and people coexist, where sustainability includes the persistence of the human ecosystem in harmony with viable wildlife communities, and where wildlands are nurtured and not subdued.

America’s Lion is a marvel of adaptation, descending from Asian felids of 11 million years ago. For millennia, Puma concolor inhabited forests, deserts, mountains, islands and bottomlands of the New World’s two massive continents. Our vision is that the ecological miscues of the Anthropocene Age abate, allowing restoration of lions throughout these diverse habitats.

Our vision requires humans to respect and trust, not fear, lions in proximity.

We live in a time of climate stress, a fearsome pace of extinctions, and a planetary crisis. If humankind can reverse the lion’s decline, there is hope.

Our Cornerstones

America’s Lion – Mountain lions are a keystone species indispensable to ecological communities. Although development has compromised lions’ range throughout the Americas, given protection, including restoration of habitat, lions will thrive.

Communication – The Mountain Lion Foundation strives for consensus that lions deserve protection. We ensure the continued existence of lions and the wild places on which they rely by securing their protection through education, outreach, and advocacy.

Science –  The Mountain Lion Foundation formulates conservation policy and programs to benefit lions and lion habitat while maintaining an independent and mutually beneficial relationship with the research and scientific communities.

Corridors – Lions require corridors to move about their territories and for their young to disperse. Because development has fragmented lion habitat, we support protecting critical habitat, corridors and freeway crossings for lions and other wildlife.

Coexistence – We promote effective preventative measures to resolve perceived human-lion conflicts. We urge the public and relevant agencies to fully appreciate lions as a vital and indispensable apex species deserving preservation rather than exploitation.

Our History

2020's

2020

  • MLF and their co-petitioners, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and Cougar Connection, reach an agreement in the Temecula Altair lawsuit which protects a critical wildlife corridor for mountain lions and other wildlife.
  • California governor, Gavin Newsom, signs Assembly Bill 1788 into law, which bans the use of first- and second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (one of the leading causes of death for mountain lions, bobcats and other wildlife) in the state.
  • MLF supports Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife in banning wildlife hunting contests to help prevent “spree-killing contests”, such as coyote derbies that have no bag limits.
  • MLF urges Nebraska Game and Parks to end mountain lion hunting in the state, as the population dips below 50 individuals.
  • CESA Petition advanced to candidacy
  • In a welcome move to protect California’s mountain lions, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) expanded the boundary of the three strikes mountain lion depredation policy statewide. The policy requires landowners that have had pets or livestock attacked to first try non-lethal means to deter mountain lions before a lethal permit will be issued.

 

2010's

2010

  • MLF and its co-plaintiffs lose its appeal against the Oregon Wildlife Services, and the USDA.
  • MLF rallies its California-based membership to object to a plan by the California Department of Fish and Game to close some of its wildlife refuges.
  • MLF launches On Air, a broadcast project that conducts audio interviews with mountain lion experts.
  • MLF participates in a community meeting after a lion is shot by police near the UC Berkeley campus and the public is outraged by the lack of non-lethal management techniques. MLF’s outreach efforts encourage Californians to write letters to law enforcement agencies demanding a change from a “shoot first” attitude, and later that summer the Morgan Hill (California) Police Department uses pepper-balls to scare away a lion from town, and a game warden in San Bernardino county humanely tranquilizes and relocates a dispersing juvenile.
  • MLF is recognized by the California State Senate for its contribution in passing Proposition 117 twenty years earlier.
  • Thirty-four groups from 13 states joined MLF in an ad hoc coalition to celebrate and promote the American lion for a period of 117 days–June 7 through September 30, 2010. MLF’s Celebrating the American Lion Campaign’s goal was to raise the national awareness of the plight facing lions in America today and to showcase the advocacy and public education work of the coalition’s partner organizations.
  • MLF starts its Lion Partners program where the Foundation provides advice and assistance to small volunteer mountain lion advocacy groups.
  • MLF joins the Twitter network as MtnLionFdn to update members instantly on the latest cougar news, events, and action alerts.

2011

  • MLF started off the year by posting a special 8-minute video detailing the basic biology and behavior of mountain lions on YouTube with links from the MLF website. A DVD of the video was also produced for distribution to small local conservation groups and educational institutions for use in public presentations without the need of an actual MLF presenter.
  • In May, MLF tried something new by placing a “Stop the Killing. NOW!” on-line petition. In this petition we called for: Banning the recreational hunting of lions on all federally owned or controlled lands. Halting the use of federal funds or agencies to conduct lion eradication or removal programs. And, demanding that the Governors of states with existing lion hunting policies emplace a moratorium on all hunts until that state’s lion population model and management plans have undergone a rigorous scientific peer-review process.
  • MLF’s web-based activities centered on reinventing its website with a new, visually appealing, and user-friendly layout.
  • MLF premiers its new “Where do we go from here?” poster and “American Lion brochure at a special gala event at the San Francisco Academy of Sciences.
  • MLF partners with the St. Luis, Missouri Audubon Society to help inform that state’s citizenry about their lions (or the official lack of them) by developing two special Missouri specific educational brochures.
  • MLF creates a special Washington state specific informational brochure.
  • MLF joins with the Washington chapter of HSUS, PAWs, and a small collection of unaffiliated cougar activists to try and stop WAC 232-12-243. This particular administrative rule change would (in direct violation of Initiative 655) allow hunters to use hounds to hunt cougars in Washington for recreational purposes.
  • MLF drafts and helps pass California Senate Bill 769. SB 769 is an amendment to Proposition 117 to allow the use of post-1990 lion carcasses and body parts for educational purposes.

2012

  • MLF continues an effort started in April of 2011 to reauthorize mountain lion research in California. The final outcome of this effort is the passage of Assembly Bill 1784, an amendment to Proposition 117 written and promoted by MLF.
  • MLF helps raise the public’s awareness to the actions of California Fish and Game Commission President Dan Richards after he kills a mountain lion on a legal hunt in Idaho and then brags about it by posting a photograph of him lifting his dead trophy. In the end we were unable to get Mr. Richards removed from the commission, but our actions, coupled with those of other conservation organizations, have resulted in the introduction of several legislative bills aimed at reforming the Commission.
  • MLF starts a campaign to change the way the California Department of Fish and Game handles mountain lions that are listed as an imminent threat to the public’s safety, and investigates the killings of mountain lions in Sunland and Santa Monica California.
  • The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) confirmed the sighting of a mountain lion near the small community of Skanee in the Michigan Upper Peninsula.
  • Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Confirms Ninth Sighting of a Mountain Lion

2013

  • The California Department of Fish and Wildlife released a draft version of its revised mountain lion guidelines. The new policy directs Department personnel when responding to mountain lion public safety and depredation incidents and includes sections about rehabilitating mountain lions as well as partnering with outside organizations to help resolve potential public safety situations with nonlethal measures.
  • In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  announced that it is giving up its watchdog role over Florida’s endangered species in order to “streamline” the permitting process for development projects that may hurt rare plants and animals. This means that the continued existence of several threatened species such as the Florida Panther are now in the hands of the State of Florida; an entity which in the past has more often sided with developers.
  • According to Commissioner Ron Bergeron of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, too much water is turning Florida’s “River of Grass” into “Lake Everglades” and that could have a devastating impact on the Everglades and its inhabitants including the Florida panther.
  • The Missouri Department of Conservation  has announced the 40th confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in that state since 1994.
  • California lion protection legislation passed today when California Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 132. This is a first of its kind piece of legislation built on decades of scientific knowledge to define what exactly “imminent threat to public health and safety” means in regards to mountain lions. The bill requires the use of nonlethal procedures for dealing with those lions that come into contact with humans, yet do not meet the threshold of imminent threat.
  • The US Army Corp of Engineers recently posted a photograph of a mountain lion taken at night on a trail camera placed near the Oahe Dam in South Dakota. This structure is located on the Missouri River just north of the state capital of Pierre.
  • The Iowa Department of Natural Resources  has confirmed a picture taken by a trail camera in Madison County is that of a mountain lion. The photo was taken on a farm about 10 miles north of Winterset, in rural Madison County, Iowa.

2014

  • Last year, National Geographic put a public face to Southern California’s lion population when it photographed P-22 walking in front of the Hollywood sign at night. At that time, the animal was majestic looking and in apparent good health. However, it was announced yesterday that National Park Service lion researchers discovered in March that P-22 is now sick with mange, a parasitic disease of the hair and skin which may be the result of rodenticide poisoning.
  • Illinois Senate Bill 3049 passes placing Gray wolves, American black bears, and mountain lions on Illinois’ protected species list, and eliminates the current practice of allowing people to shoot them on sight with no questions asked.
  • The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced that it has confirmed two mountain lion sightings taken from trail camera photographs in Lincoln and Marinette counties. Coupled with the lion sighting in Bayfield County last January this makes the third confirmed report of mountain lions in the state of Wisconsin during 2014.
  • For the first time in almost two years, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism  has verified the presence of a mountain lion in that state. The sighting resulted from a trail camera photograph taken in Labette County, located in the Southeast corner of Kansas.
  • Oklahoma wildlife officials recently confirmed two mountain lion sightings in northeast Oklahoma. Photos of the mountain lions were caught on two trail cameras, one in Pawnee County and one in Mayes County.
  • Kentucky game wardens kill 1st mountain lion to return since before the Civil War.The killing of a mountain lion by state conservation officers has generated a discussion about whether the big cat should have been protected.

2015

  • An Iowan’s fight to protect mountain lions is thwarted by obstinate legislator
  • Even though it’s illegal to trap mountain lions in Montana, 48 lions have been captured in traps set for other animals over the past two years. Of those lions captured, 26 died and at least six suffered some form of damage to their paws but were released along with the non-injured lions.
  • The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission announced yesterday that the mountain lion killed by a deer hunter in Bradley County last November originated in the Black Hills region of South Dakota; almost 1,200 miles away.
  • The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife (KDFW) has ended its eight month investigation into the origin and history of the first mountain lion to return to Kentucky since the species was extirpated in that state more than 150 years ago.
  • Earlier this week, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority released a long-awaited study by Caltrans concluding that building the nation’s largest wildlife “bridge” over the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills was feasible. Projected to cost $33 million to $38 million, the 165-foot-wide, 200-foot-long overpass, complete with drought-tolerant vegetation, near Liberty Canyon Road would connect the Santa Monica Mountains on the south with the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains.

2016

  • Colorado’s first wildlife bridge is proving to be a huge success. Saving the lives of both wildlife and motorists, the wildlife overpass on Highway 9 in Grand County was designed to reduce collisions on one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the state. The multi-million dollar project is the first of its kind in Colorado.
  • A mountain lion has been confirmed in Humphreys County, Tennessee.
  • Wyoming’s lions escape trapping plan when a bill was defeqated that would have allowed any person with a valid hunting license to kill a mountain lion using a trap or snare.
  • Nebraska Legislative Bill 474 passes  requiring the state to offer special mountain lion conservation license plates for vehicles.
  • Officials in Connecticut are investigating possible evidence of a mountain lion in New Canaan.
  • In Florida, a proposed development project on roughly 150,000 acres in Collier County would affect eight protected species, including the endangered Florida panther that live on the land.  Panther habitat is constantly being whittled away by developments and roads, and residents say we can’t spare losing another acre.
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Services claims eastern cougar “subspecies” is extinct, but DNA evidence says all cougars in North America are the same subspecies.

2017

  • Female mountain lion sighted in Missouri in Shannon County.  Female lions generally don’t disperse as far as males.  Since 1994, Missouri has confirmed just 68 mountain lions, and all of those were males.
  • Idaho Department of Fish and Game Relocates mountain lion mom and kittens.
  • Statewide poll in Nevada finds strong support for reform of animal trapping laws and regulations.

2018

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  announced the official removal of the Eastern cougar from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife demonstrating a serious flaw in Federal policy affecting species which have been intentionally extirpated across vast areas, damaging human and environmental health, but are not protected because they exist in a sustainable population somewhere else.
  • Wisconsin DNR Releases Cougar Response Guidelines. The last native mountain lion was believed to have been killed in 1908 but dispersing lions are expected as they recover nationally.

2019

  • The Mountain Lion Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity formally petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission to protect Coastal and Southern California  mountain lions under the California Endangered Species Act.
  • The New Mexico State Game Commission  voted to ban sport trapping of cougars and limited how many cougars a hunter could kill. Hunters will no longer be permitted to obtain additional tags to kill more than two cougars.
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife expanded the boundary of the three strikes mountain lion depredation policy originally adopted in 2017. The policy requires landowners that have had pets or livestock attacked to first try non-lethal means to deter mountain lions from future attacks of their domestic animals.

2020

  • MLF and their co-petitioners, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and Cougar Connection, reach an agreement in the Temecula Altair lawsuit which protects a critical wildlife corridor for mountain lions and other wildlife.
  • California governor, Gavin Newsom, signs Assembly Bill 1788 into law, which bans the use of first- and second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (one of the leading causes of death for mountain lions, bobcats and other wildlife) in the state.
  • MLF supports Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife in banning wildlife hunting contests to help prevent “spree-killing contests”, such as coyote derbies that have no bag limits.
  • MLF urges Nebraska Game and Parks to end mountain lion hunting in the state, as the population dips below 50 individuals.
  • CESA Petition advanced to candidacy
  • In a welcome move to protect California’s mountain lions, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) expanded the boundary of the three strikes mountain lion depredation policy statewide. The policy requires landowners that have had pets or livestock attacked to first try non-lethal means to deter mountain lions before a lethal permit will be issued.

 

2000's

2000

  • Coal Canyon is acquired by California State Parks and protected for all time, providing a key link for the safe passage of mountain lions and other wildlife between Chino Hills State Park and the Santa Ana Mountains.
  • MLF launches Lions in the Park program to educate state park rangers and docents.
  • MLF and California State Parks work together to create a three-panel, color interpretive display.
  • Judge rules in favor of MLF’s case which invalidated the City of Sacramento’s authority to allow developers to kill endangered species and requiring the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that would analyze the effects of habitat destruction on giant garter snakes and Swainson hawks in the Natomas Basin.
  • MLF supports USFWS proposal to designate over 5.4 million acres of public and private land in California as critical habitat for the red-legged frog.

2001

  • MLF launches its Living with Lions program to educate Californians on how to coexist with mountain lions and to introduce ideas and practical assistance that will protect lions that come into contact with people, rather than punishing them for behaving naturally.

2002

  • MLF organizes, chairs and presents at the first-ever sessions on the conservation of mountain lions at a major scientific conference, Carnivores 2002.
  • As part of the Living with Lions program, Wolf Creek and Indian Valley 4-H club members and MLF celebrate 4-H’s 100th birthday by completing the construction of the first cougar-proof pen designed specifically to protect goats and other small domestic livestock from mountain lion depredation.
  • MLF’s Living with Lions program worked with local 4-H and FFA groups to build the first cougar-proof pen in Calaveras County, California.
  • Working with the California Oak Foundation, MLF sues the Department of Forestry demanding they protect oak woodlands, which provide excellent mountain lion habitat.
  • MLF, with other conservation groups, files suit in federal court and successfully stops USFWS and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) from proceeding with an elk population study that involves killing at least half the mountain lions in two regions of Oregon.

2003

  • MLF launches its new On-the-Edge program in Southern California’s Santa Monica Mountains to teach communities responsible ways to coexist with wildlife on the suburban fringe.
  • MLF organizes, chairs and presents at the first-ever conservation session at a Mountain Lion Workshop, a scientific conference on mountain lions held by state wildlife agencies held approximately every four years.

2004

  • MLF presents information on lion biology and behavior to residents in Palo Alto after a lion is killed by CDFG and receives national media coverage.
  • MLF educates over 200 Municipal Water District field employees in the Santa Monica Mountains on staying safe while working in lion country.
  • MLF testifies against the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s plan to eradicate all mountain lions from the Sabino Canyon.
  • The last known male mountain lion (P1) in California’s Santa Monica Mountains has a depredation permit issued on him after preying on domestic goats, but MLF fights to have P1 spared. Later that year, P2, his mate, gives birth to four cubs.
  • MLF works with the Felton 4-H to build a lion-proof small livestock enclosure, preventing any depredation of their livestock before an incident ever occurs.
  • MLF opens its first field office in southern California and offers presentations on wildlife corridors and living with mountain lions.
  • A large cougar display created by MLF in 1996 for the Effie Yeaw Nature Center begins a tour through Iowa to educate communities after a few lion sightings raise concern and curiosity among residents.

2005

  • MLF begins a Living with Lions program in San Luis Obispo County, California, to help create support for local ordinances on land use and wildlife friendly neighborhoods while providing educational presentations in the community and training local law enforcement agencies.
  • MLF starts Project Newsworthy to help provide journalists with accurate information about mountain lions. The program created multiple public service announcements in both English and Spanish to be aired when a sighting has occurred.

2006

  • MLF works with the Black Hills Mountain Lion Foundation to build a lion-proof small livestock enclosure in South Dakota to expand non-lethal husbandry techniques and help residents coexist with the recovering cougar population in the Black Hills region of that state.
  • MLF publishes Human Exploitation of Mountain Lions in the American West analyzing the exceedingly high rate at which mountain lions are killed and suggestions for ecosystem recovery.
  • MLF publishes Effects of Sport Hunting Mountain Lions on Safety and Livestock, putting to rest once and for all the myth that sport hunting lions will somehow increase the safety of people and domestic animals.

2007

  • MLF expands upon its successful Living with Lions program with the launch of Rural Partners to help pet and livestock owners in the Central Sierra better protect their animals.
  • MLF takes part in Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Program and hosts an AmeriCorps member full time to work on its Rural Partners program.
  • MLF partners with the US Fish & Wildlife Service and Defenders of Wildlife to build several lion-proof small livestock enclosures in Naples, Florida to protect livestock and ultimately keep endangered Florida panthers out of trouble in their shrinking habitat.
  • MLF begins its two year Safe Passages program, partnering with various agencies and the public, to institutionalize protection for wildlife corridors by beginning outreach in California neighborhoods around the Santa Monica, Santa Susana, San Gabriel and Santa Ana mountain ranges.

2008

  • MLF’s Rural Partners program provides a grant to the Placer Nature Center to create a permanent display and provide education at the Auburn County Fair.
  • MLF gives briefings on mountain lions to over one-hundred San Diego Sheriff Search and Rescue team members to increase the safety of officers, the public, and mountain lions.
  • MLF continues with the second year of the Safe Passages program, recruiting numerous partners and spreading education through presentations and a massive community-wide door-to-door distribution of informative fliers about local corridors.

2009

  • An expansion of MLF’s website takes advantage of more than 30 years of information, making information about mountain lions more easily accessible to the public with daily news article updates, opinion articles, and feature presentations in text, audio, and video.
  • MLF’s Cougar Clippings service expands to provide weekly electronic news and keeps thousands of people informed on the media coverage of mountain lions.
  • MLF joins the popular networking site Facebook and gains over 300 fans in the first month.
  • MLF and a coalition of Oregon-based conservation groups continued an on-going lawsuit against the Oregon Wildlife Services, and the USDA over Oregon’s plans to preemptively kill off mountain lions to help elk herds.
  • MLF joined with several other conservation groups to present written comments against new US Fish and Wildlife management plan which could eventually remove all mountain lions from Arizona’s KofA wildlife refuge and its surrounding environs.
  • In an effort to fight off a citizens movement based out of San Benito County to repeal Proposition 117, MLF responded to inquiries into the merits of Proposition 117 from both state and county officials, and appeared before the San Benito County Fish and Game Commission to answer a public inquiry into the threat mountain lions pose to that county’s citizens.
  • MLF provides an educational workshop for the Santa Paula Police Department after the “public safety” killing of a 15-pound lion kitten.
  • MLF worked with the Black Hills Mountain Lion Foundation to help stop Senate Bill 75 (to allow the use of hounds while hunting mountain lions), and House Bill 1004 (which would have allowed people to keep the pelts of mountain lions killed for depredation or public safety).

1990's

1990

  • Voters approve Proposition 117 which bans mountain lion hunting and creates a $30 million-per-year Habitat Conservation Fund.
  • Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation-sponsored legal decision that invalidated the California Department of Fish and Game’s 1988 mountain lion hunt is upheld by the California Appellate Court.
  • Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation produces two traveling mountain lion exhibits. One of the permanent mountain lion exhibits is created by Mountain Lion Preservation Fund (MLPF) for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in Southern California.

1991

  • Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation publishes Preserving Cougar Country.
  • Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation creates an anti-poaching campaign.
  • Three Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation-supported bills are approved in the California State Legislature to provide millions of “bucks for bucks.”
  • Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation is officially re-named the Mountain Lion Foundation (MLF)

1992

  • MLF publishes Cougar: The American Lion.
  • MLF files a “friends of the court” brief in a lawsuit that said the California Fish & Game Commission (CFGC) erred in protecting the California gnatcatcher as a candidate species under the state Endangered Species Act.
  • MLF files another “friends” brief in a lawsuit that protects endangered salmon from pumping in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

1993

  • MLF and other groups file a lawsuit to protect an important wildlife corridor in Coal Canyon, between the Santa Ana Mountains and Chino Hills State Park on the border of Orange County.
  • MLF helps build the evidence for the prosecution of a ranch in Monterey County that hosted illegal mountain lion hunting.
  • MLF loses a bid in the State Legislature to ban the use of dogs to hunt black bears in California.

1994

  • MLF publishes the anti-poaching book Crimes Against the Wild.
  • MLF defeats legislation to eliminate the Habitat Conservation Fund, which was created in Proposition 117.
  • MLF helps kill three bills to repeal Proposition 117.
  • MLF helps kill legislative bill to eliminate the Endangered Species Ballot Check-off Program.
  • Successful lawsuit by MLF and others keep the Mojave ground squirrel on the state Endangered Species List, which preserves an important precedent for the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

1995

  • The California Legislature places Proposition 197, to rescind Proposition 117’s ban on mountain lion hunting, on the November 1996 ballot.

1996

  • MLF launches it’s No on Prop 197 public education campaign.
  • California’s voters defeat Proposition 197 by more than 16 percent.

1997

  • MLF presents first annual anti-poaching award to a deserving public official
  • A MLF sponsored bill to ban the use of hounds for hunting bears and bobcats is placed in the California State Legislature (failed after opposition from houndsmen).
  • MLF produces award-winning anti-poaching public service announcements in five languages for distribution to the media.
  • MLF wins a legal decision overturning Gov. Pete Wilson’s emergency order for a sweeping five-year waiver of the California Endangered Species Act.
  • MLF sponsors a successful measure in the State Legislature requiring the CFGC to post decision-making documents on the Internet.
  • MLF creates California Legal Advocates for Wildlife (CLAW), a new legal defense program.

1998

  • MLF files its first lawsuit challenging the inadequacy of the Habitat Conservation Plan for the North Natomas development in Sacramento, California.

1999

  • MLF successfully amends a bill that would have eliminated the mountain lion hunting ban that was established in Proposition 117.
  • MLF successfully petitions the California Fish and Game Commission to list the Sierra Nevada Bighorn sheep as “endangered” under the California Endangered Species Act.
  • MLF helps California Department of Fish and Game win a $3 million appropriation to write a recovery plan for Bighorn sheep.
  • MLF joins with the National Audubon Society to develop and implement the Adopt-A-Species program to teach California’s middle school students about endangered species.

1980's

1986

  • 15-year moratorium on sport hunting lions comes to an end. The Legislature extended the ban twice between 1972 and 1986.
  • Mountain Lion Coalition is formed to protect mountain lions in California.
  • Coalition defeats two bills in the State Legislature that would have allowed trophy hunting of mountain lions.
  • Coalition stops California Fish and Game Commission (CFGC) plan to allow mountain lion hunting.

1987

  • Coalition files for non-profit status and the Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation is born.
  • CFGC approves trophy mountain lion hunting over the Foundation’s opposition.
  • Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation files successful lawsuit challenging the lion hunting decision for the 1987 season.
  • Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation sponsors bill in the State Legislature to ban the use of dogs for mountain lion hunting (the bill was defeated after the National Rifleman’s Association made the measure its highest priority).

1988

  • Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation-produced study documents the decline in mountain lion habitat in the Sierra Nevada.
  • Defying a court order, the CFGC approves mountain lion trophy hunt for the 1988 season.
  • Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation files a second lawsuit challenging the mountain lion hunting regulations for the 1988 season.

1989

  • Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation’s 100% volunteer effort gathers 680,000 signatures to qualify an initiative (Proposition 117) to ban mountain lion trophy hunting for the 1990 California ballot.
  • Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation creates its Adopt-a-Lion program.

1970's

1972

  • Governor Ronald Reagan signs legislation outlawing the sport hunting of mountain lions for five years.

Our Team

The Mountain Lion Foundation has always achieved results with a small, energetic and dedicated staff and volunteers. We work as a team to support mountain lion volunteers and local activists across the nation. Please, contact us with your questions, ideas and insights. Staff are available by phone on weekdays from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Pacific Time. If you are redirected to voice mail, press 0 to be directed to front office staff. Please leave a message, and we will return your call. You are a voice for mountain lions, and we value your communications. Join us as a Mountain Lion Foundation member, volunteer, and take action today.

Staff

Debra Chase

CEO
916-442-2666 ext. 103

Originally from Tennessee, Debra attended school in Sacramento, then traveled extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest before finally settling on a small farm in Northern California with her husband Dave. Debra became an ardent volunteer in the 1970s and 80s and has over twenty-five years of experience in the non-profit industry. Honored in 2009 by the California Legislature and the Yolo County Women’s History Committee as a “Woman Taking the Lead to Save the Planet,” she has held senior positions with organizations that focus on building environmental literacy, conservation ethics, conserving wildlife habitat, land preservation as well as advocating for science, health and social justice. Her strengths lie in fostering change and meeting environmental, social and community needs through strategic planning, community education, fundraising and organizational development – assisting nonprofit organizations in realizing their full potential by connecting their vision to community impacts.

She and her husband Dave consider their ongoing passion for environmental activism as part of their responsibility to make sure that future generations will enjoy the wildlife of today, especially the majesty of the mountain lion.

Logan Christian, BS, MS

Conservation Advocate - Region II
916-442-2666 ext. 108 lchristian@mountainlion.org

Logan grew up in Northern Utah and spent most of his childhood in the outdoors, first with a fishing obsession that eventually gave way to a hiking and camping obsession. He attended Utah State University from 2013-2017 where he engaged in several environmental advocacy activities including helping organize students to pass Utah’s first resolution on climate change and organizing community support for the designation of Bears Ears National Monument. After receiving a BS in Environmental Studies, Logan spent a year working for Yellowstone to Uintas Connection, an organization focused on protecting wildlife corridors between the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Uinta Mountains in Utah. He then attended University of Michigan where he received an MS in Natural Resources and Environment. When he’s not advocating for mountain lions, Logan can be found fly fishing, kayaking, backpacking, or getting in touch with his nerdy side by reading fantasy books.

As Conservation Advocate in Region II, Logan oversees our outreach and advocacy in Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.

Lou Galgani, BA

Membership Coordinator
916-442-2666 ext. 106 lgalgani@mountainlion.org

Lou Galgani joined the Mountain Lion Foundation team in the fall of 2015 and has returned after a brief hiatus. She has a background in animal care and a BA in Biology from California State University Sacramento. Her experience in office administration and organization skills are proving to be valuable assets to MLF. Lou runs the front desk and you’ll likely hear her cheerful wit when you telephone our office.

Fred Hull, JD

Staff Attorney, Director of Advocacy
916-442-2666 ext. 102 fhull@mountainlion.org

Fred started his environmental career in the mid 80’s with Californians Against Waste working on the Bottle Bill. After a few detours, which included writing software for Viacom/ Paramount, a law practice and developing business processes and software for three startup companies that were all acquired by LexisNexis, Fred returned to environmental work with the Mountain Lion Foundation in 2004.

Jessica Janson, BA

Development Coordinator
916-442-2666 ext. 100 jjanson@mountainlion.org

Jessica joins The Mountain Lion Foundation as our Development Coordinator. She has been working with wildcats for over a decade in many capacities from sanctuary work, to rescue and rehabilitation to wildlife crime investigation. She shifted into campaign work and has worked on various legislative initiatives, including those that pertain to wildcat protection. Eventually Jessica found her niche in development. She has spent time in Namibia working with cheetahs and found her passion for the mountain lion in the remote regions of Chile. Jessica is thrilled to join The Mountain Lion Foundation and advocate for America’s iconic lion.

When Jessica finds some downtime, she leads international yoga retreats and enjoys observing native Colorado wildlife while hiking and snowshoeing near her mountain home.

Paige Munson

State Policy Associate, Field Biologist
916-442-2666 pmunson@mountainlion.org

Paige grew up in Iowa with a love for the outdoors. She now lives in Chico, California, and is working towards her undergraduate degree in biology. During her studies, she has researched mammalian predators in the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve and worked for the California Department of Fish & Wildlife conducting bioacoustic and camera trapping surveys. She started volunteering with the MLF in 2020, and will now be advocating for mountain lion conservation as State Policy Associate.

Outside of work, she enjoys running, hiking, and backpacking with her partner.

Denise Peterson

Conservation Advocate, GIS and Media Specialist - Region II
916-442-2666 ext. 105 dpeterson@mountainlion.org

Denise Peterson is our Conservation Advocate, GIS and Media Specialist in Region II. Denise has a strong background in wildlife science with a focus on mountain lions, is a talented photographer and videographer trained in the Adobe graphics suite, and is a certified GIS Analyst. She also has her Wildlife Chemical Immobilization certification and has worked in the Peruvian Amazon tracking radio-collared ocelots for a study in predator-prey interactions. As we met Denise, she was working to map mountain lion mortalities across South Dakota, and readying herself to testify before the Utah Wildlife Board, asking them to reduce their lion hunt. Located in Utah, Denise will represent us in the Rockies and Southwest. Denise has been employed with the Mountain Lion Foundation since 2017.

In Region II, she oversees our outreach and advocacy North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Florida and Utah.

Chelsea Robinson, BA

Officer Manager
916-442-2666 ext. 101 crobinson@mountainlion.org

Chelsea Robinson studied music business and culinary arts before finally receiving her BS in business management in 2013. Since graduating, she has worked in administration with various nonprofits within the last 5 years.

When she is not performing clerical duties, she is singing karaoke all over Sacramento and spending time with her lab mix dog Jack.

Josh Rosenau, BA, ABD

Conservation Advocate - Region I
916-442-2666 ext. 107 jrosenau@mountainlion.org

Josh is a mammalogist who has worked to protect wild salmon and orcas, defend science educators against political pressure, and led efforts to push candidates to explain how science would inform them in Congress and the Oval Office. After graduating with a bachelors in Biology from the University of Chicago, he began a doctoral program at the University of Kansas, based in the Museum of Natural History. During his doctoral studies in Kansas, he changed directions from ecology and evolutionary biology to focus on science communication and science policy. With coalitions of clergy leaders, scientists, and parents, he led campaigns to defuse conflicts over the science lessons on topics like climate change and evolution. At the Mountain Lion Foundation, he is returning his focus to mammals, connecting and informing communities about their cougar neighbors, and helping to turn conversations from conflict to cooperation as we strive to Save America’s Lion.

Outside of work, Josh loves to explore wild places with his wife and two children. A lifelong hiker and birder, he has led Grand Canyon rafting trips and hikes, and since moving to Washington, has taken up kayaking and fly fishing.

As Conservation Advocate in Region I, Josh oversees our outreach and advocacy in California, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and Wyoming

Board of Directors

Bob McCoy

Chair
Issaquah, Washington

Bob started researching Puma concolor and joined the Mountain Lion Foundation in 2009. The following year, he testified against the Washington Cougar Hounding Pilot Program, formed the Washington Cougar Coalition (WA Cougar), and became the Foundation’s Washington State Field Representative. Since then, he and volunteers have repeatedly stopped bills that would have harmed cougars. In 2013, Bob represented the Foundation on a panel at the 13th Mountain Lion Workshops in Utah. In 2015, Bob spurred WA Cougar to appeal the Washington Commission’s failure to follow proper procedure in setting cougar hunting guidelines. Led by HSUS lawyers, we achieved the first overturn of a citizen commission ruling by a governor in state history. The Commission returned in 2016 to the prior hunting quota. Bob is now working to keep the state from taking measures against cougars in retaliation for the successful return of wolves to Washington. Bob McCoy became a member of the Board of Directors in July 2016.

Ann Hamilton

Treasurer
Bay Area, California

Ann Hamilton is a Managing Director and Regional Director of Investment Management and Trust at The Private Bank at MUFG Union Bank. Ann works with a team of specialists in wealth planning, investment management, philanthropy, banking and trust administration in the California & Washington market. She and her team work with ultra-high net worth clients and their advisors on a wide range of trust & estate and legacy planning matters in accordance with sound fiduciary principles. Prior to joining The Private Bank, Ann held leadership roles in the Trust and Estate practices at Citi Private Bank, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management and Merrill Lynch Private Client group. She holds a BA in English Literature and has the Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation. Ann lives in the Bay Area, has 2 sons, 2 Maine Coon cats and is a lover of all things feline.

Donald Molde, M.D.

Secretary
Reno, Nevada

Donald Molde is a retired psychiatrist; former board member, Defenders of Wildlife, 20-year board member, Nevada Humane Society; and long-time Nevada wildlife activist defending carnivores and opposing fur trapping. Don developed the initial brief and served as the Nevada plaintiff in WildEarthGuardians lawsuit against Nevada Wildlife Services, which was settled to great advantage to wildlife in 2016. Don is currently suing the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners to protect non-target species, including mountain lions, from fur trappers. Don is the co-founder of the Nevada Wildlife Alliance, and is widely regarded as the expert on mountain lions in the state. Dog owner, bird-watcher, and Nevada back country enthusiast, Don has endless energy for wildlife and the environment.

 

Toby Cooper

Boardmember
Eastsound, Washington

Financial Advisor, Former Program Director of National Issues, Defenders of Wildlife, Washington DC; Former Staff, National Parks and Conservation Association, Washington DC.; 1968 U.S. Olympian; Former Board Member, California Center for Wildlife (now Wildcare), Vivamos Mejor, Peninsula Conservation Center Foundation (now Acterra).

Elizabeth Sullivan

Vice Chair
Cotati, California

Wealth Management Advisor for private firm; Attorney; 18 years in Financial Advisory for Financial Consulting firms like Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo Advisors, including planned giving and legacy consulting to non-profits and individual estates. As an attorney, formerly practiced in environmental litigation and toxics litigation including cases involving mitigation of several EPA Superfund sites. Spent time as pro-bono counsel on habitat and land use issues. Her lifetime concern about loss of species has led to involvement/ volunteer efforts on behalf of wildlife ranging from cleaning local marshes at age 6, penguin behavioral studies at S.F. Zoo in college, to feeding orphaned chicks at wildlife rehabilitation centers. “Every Individual counts!”

Dr. Chris Tromborg

Boardmember
Davis, California

Professor of Psychobiology and Animal Behavior at Sacramento City College and lecturer in Psycho-Physics and Animal Cognition at the University of California, Davis. Member of the Board of Directors of African Wild Dog Conservancy. Research interests include: captivity and behavior, focusing on behavioral enrichment through environmental engineering.

Fauna Tomlinson

Boardmember
Lake Tahoe, California

For 30 years I’ve been fortunate to call Tahoe my home along with my husband and our two talented adult kids. I’m in real estate for a living but my passion is the big cats of the world. I started with the Indian Bengal tiger, the Snow Leopard with many trips to India and Nepal. It’s a privilege to work on native lion and coyote issues. Being on the board of Mountain Lion Foundation is an honor for me, giving me a chance to make a difference on behalf of America’s lion in a new and exciting way. Keeping it wild!

Volunteers

Robin Parks

Field Volunteer, Events
San Diego, California

Jane Santorum

Julian Mountain Lion Project, Depredation Deterrence & Response, Field Volunteer, Events
Julian, California

David Peterson

Field Volunteer, Media Production Assistant
Sandy, Utah

Mike Poremba

Field Volunteer, Depredation Prevention and Response, Events
Jackson County, Oregon

Pietro P.J. Danby

Media Volunteer
Long Beach, NY

Science Advisory Council

Chris Tromborg, PhD

Science Advisory Council Chair
Professor of Psychobiology and Animal Behavior at Sacramento City College and lecturer in Psycho-Physics and Animal Cognition at the University of California, Davis.

Bob McCoy

MLF Board Chair

Cristina Eisenberg, PhD

Chief Scientist Emerita, Earthwatch Institute
Graduate Faculty Oregon State University College of Forestry Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

Rodney Jackson, PhD

Executive Director, Snow Leopard Conservancy

Laurie Marker, PhD

Executive Director, Cheetah Conservation Fund

Sharon Negri

Founder and Director, WildFutures

Carter Niemeyer

Retired USFWS trapper, Conservationist

Laura Prugh, PhD

Prugh Lab, Associate Professor of Quantitative Wildlife Studies, University of Washington

Jim Sanderson, PhD

Global Wildlife Conservation Program manager, Wild Cat Conservation

Rosemary Schiano

Wildlife Field Biologist, Tracker, Predator Aversion and Hazing, Bear Spray and OC Instructor, Less-Lethal Munitions Basic Trainer

Jennifer Verdolin, PhD

Assistant Professor of Practice, School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona

Carolyn Whitesell, PhD

Assistant Cooperative Extension Human-Wildlife Interactions Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension, Half Moon Bay

Rob Wielgus, PhD

Retired Professor/Director of Large Carnivore Conservation Lab , Washington State University

Christine Wilkinson

PhD Candidate Livestock Predator Conflicts

Debra Chase, CEO

MLF CEO

Diana Boyle, MS

MLF Staff Biologist

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