On Friday, July 13th, California Assembly Bill 1784 — authorizing scientific research on mountain lions in California — was signed by Governor Jerry Brown, making the bill a law. AB 1784, introduced by Assembly Member Bill Monning, is the culmination of work that occurred over more than a year by the Mountain Lion Foundation and other concerned parties to restore lion research after the California Department of Fish and Game suddenly decided at the beginning of 2011 that there was no legal statute allowing them to authorize research on mountain lions.
These crucial research projects are helping us better understand the health of the species and to identify and protect the critical habitat and wildlife corridors upon which lions depend.
Just as Proposition 117 was a landmark initiative in 1990 to protect mountain lions from sport hunters, AB 1784 is a groundbreaking step in authorizing humane scientific research. Among other things, it explicitly requires that projects be designed to support the survival of the species, not to intentionally kill any lions, keep detailed records, and also make reported information available to the public. During many of the discussions over drafted language, MLF was frequently criticized for putting in parameters that were "stricter than regulations on endangered species!"
But MLF did not back down. We think America's lion deserves the highest level of protection... can you blame us?
Today, not only are we pleased AB 1784 has passed, but we are proud to learn it is now being considered by other animal protection organizations as a model for wildlife research legislation. Thank you to everyone who contacted Governor Brown, shared the alert, and helped pass AB 1784!
Monday (July 2, 2012), California Assembly Bill 1784 — authorizing scientific research on mountain lions — passed out of the legislature and is now headed to Governor Brown's desk for signing. AB 1784, introduced by Assembly Member Bill Monning, is the culmination of almost a year and a half's work on the part of the Mountain Lion Foundation to restore lion research after the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) suddenly decided at the beginning of 2011 that there was no legal statute allowing them to authorize such work.
Collaborating with an assortment of conservation organizations, California's dedicated mountain lion researchers, CDFG's Wildlife Division, and of course, Bethany Westfall of Assembly Member Monning's office, MLF was able to craft an amendment to Proposition 117 — The Mountain Lion Initiative — which not only allows CDFG to authorize lion research in California but also ensures that such research will benefit the species and never be used as an excuse to carry out so called "scientific hunts."
While this bill easily passed out of the legislature, its fate is still uncertain. In the past, Governor Brown has clearly demonstrated his support for mountain lion protection but his main focus these days is the state's fiscal woes, and mountain lion research might appear to be a frivolous and unnecessary luxury for these troubled times.
MLF is calling on all mountain lion activists to contact Governor Brown and ask him to sign this bill. AB 1784 is critical to the continued survival of California's lions because it will:
For an inside look at mountain lion research, read Beating the Odds by MLF's Biologist and Outreach Coordinator, Amy Rodrigues, as she spends an evening with researchers capturing a lion in southern California's Santa Ana mountain range.
At the same time we also encourage you to contact Assembly Member Monning and thank him and his staff for their tireless work to make mountain lion research in California a reality once more.
Find out more on how to become a Mountain Lion Activist
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0027
Tel: (916) 319-2027
Fax: (916) 319-2127
Santa Cruz County District Office
701 Ocean Street, 318-B
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Tel: (831) 425-1503
Fax: (831) 425-2570
Monterey / Santa Clara County District Office
99 Pacific Street, Suite 555D
Monterey, CA 93940
Tel: (831) 649-2832
Fax: (831) 649-2935
Santa Clara County
Direct Tel Line: (408) 782-0647
The Mountain Lion Foundation, founded in 1986, is a national nonprofit organization protecting mountain lions and their habitat. The mountain lion is also known as cougar, puma, panther, and catamount.
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.
Together, we can save America's lion.
No minimum gift is required to become a member of the Mountain Lion Foundation. Just make the donation you can afford using any of the following methods.
You can make a tax-deductible donation with your credit card using Paypal's secure server by clicking on one of the links below.
You may also mail your contribution to Mountain Lion Foundation, P.O. Box 1896, Sacramento, California 95812 or call us at 916-442-2666.
Additional options for making a gift are available by clicking HERE.