Finding the Light

“I truly believe mountain lions saved my life and I feel obligated to try to give back and conserve this amazing, misunderstood species.”

For Savannah Rose, tracking America’s most secretive apex predator is more than a passion. Taking photographs of mountain lions has been her path to healing after a tragedy upended her life.

Deeply depressed, she was absent mindedly watching documentaries when a movie about mountain lion biology came on. When she learned it was filmed near her home in Jackson Hole, she knew she had to see one of these animals for herself, but she was out of shape and sick in body and mind.

In this webinar, Savannah will share a deeply personal journey, working on her physical and mental health, through her many failures with tracking lions, to finally being mentored to walk in the footsteps of these amazing cats. We will also talk about advocacy for wildlife and the current status of mountain lions in Wyoming.

Content note: Please be advised that this webinar will include a discussion of depression, PTSD, suicide and substance abuse.

Mountain Lions in California – from North to South, and One Researcher’s Journey to Help Conserve Them

Mountain Lions in California – from North to South, and One Researcher’s Journey to Help Conserve Them


Winston Vickers is a wildlife veterinarian with the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center who has conducted research into mountain lions in California for the last 20 years. In that time, he and collaborators, and other researchers in the state, have learned a vast amount about the mountain lion populations in California, and unfortunately the news has often not been good. The accumulated research has shown that connections between populations across the state have been restricted or in some cases mostly severed to the point of ten separate subpopulations being identifiable genetically. Several of these subpopulations are at risk of significant decline or extirpation due to low annual survival rates, inbreeding, and worsening habitat loss and fragmentation. In this talk Dr. Vickers will detail the latest scientific findings from across the state that are guiding actions that may increase the odds of long term persistence of puma populations, what individuals can do to assist in their conservation, and will talk about his personal pathway into mountain lion research and conservation.

About Dr. Winston Vickers

Dr. Vickers is a wildlife research veterinarian with the University of California-Davis Wildlife Health Center and the Institute for Wildlife Studies. He obtained his DVM at Oklahoma State University and practiced on large, small, and exotic species for over 20 years before returning to school to get his Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis with a focus on wildlife disease and ecology. He has been studying mountain lions and other wildlife for 20 years and directs the UCD Wildlife Health Center’s mountain lion study. He collaborates extensively with other mountain lion researchers, NGO’s, and governmental agencies in the state and elsewhere in the West, and his studies of mountain lions address issues of mortality, connectivity, habitat use, genetics, disease, conservation, and reducing negative interactions with humans and livestock. He also collaborates on studies involving other wildlife species studies, including bobcats, Channel Island foxes, Santa Cruz Island scrub jays and other avian species. He worked for many years with the Wildlife Health Center’s Oiled Wildlife Care Network on oil spill response, and is the author or a co-author of over 35 peer reviewed publications, one book chapter, and numerous white papers and reports to wildlife and other government agencies. He co-developed and directed a 9-part series of short educational documentaries about mountain lions, as well as a one hour film, that have been viewed nearly 1.8 million times and can be viewed here ( His work has been featured in numerous articles in the newspapers and in several books, and he has twice been named one of the 100 most influential individuals in Orange County, CA by the Orange County Register.


Arizona Hunt Guidelines Action Call

Arizona Hunt Guidelines Action Call

January 12, 2022 at 4:00PM – 5:30PM PST
(5:00PM – 6:30PM MT, 6:00PM – 7:30PM CT, 7:00PM – 8:30PM ET)

Arizona is proposing new hunting regulations that will have serious impacts on the native carnivore populations in the state and the ecosystems they depend on. We need your help in advocating to make these new rules as strong as they can be to protect mountain lions and other native carnivores.

Please join the Mountain Lion Foundation, Center for Biological Diversity and Humane Society of the United States for a webinar on the proposed changes being made to the Arizona hunting guidelines. Our staff will explain the changes and how you can help to make sure they do not have a devastating impact on mountain lions, bobcats and bears.

Logan Christian – Region 2 Conservation Advocate, Mountain Lion Foundation
Haley Stewart – Wildlife Program Manager, Humane Society of the United States
Gabe Wigtil – Arizona State Director, Humane Society of the United States
Sophia Ressler – Staff Attorney, Center for Biological Diversity


Non-Lethal Predator Deterrence & Regenerative Farming on a Sheep Ranch in Colorado

Non-Lethal Predator Deterrence & Regenerative Farming on a Sheep Ranch in Colorado

January 6, 2022 at 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM PST includes limited live Q&A afterwards.
(1:00 PM – 2:30 PM MT, 2:00 – 2:30 PM CT, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM ET)

Join us as David and Mary Miller have an engaging and informative conversation with Logan Christian about their success using non-lethal predator deterrence and regenerative agriculture practices. With over 25 years of experience, David and Mary’s expertise and insights can be used by other farmers and ranchers, no matter how small.

MLF resources on protecting livestock -!protecting-livestock 

Triple M Bar Ranch -  

How to choose a LGD -  

Training support for LGD owners -


About David & Mary Miller:
David & Mary Miller raise lambs and livestock guard dogs on their ranch in Crowley County. They started their own business, Triple M Bar Ranch, in 1994. Triple M Bar Ranch is a family-owned and operated ranch in Southeastern Colorado. They take pride in raising naturally grown lamb and Livestock guard dogs that are born and raised with their sheep. David and Mary are the main ranch hands. Their ranch headquarters sits on Buckeye Hill in Crowley County on the bluffs overlooking the Arkansas River Valley. They also have grazing land in the valley along the river.

“FUZZ: When Nature Breaks the Law” – A conversation with author Mary Roach

“FUZZ: When Nature Breaks the Law” – A conversation with author Mary Roach

FUZZ: When Nature Breaks the Law
.  In her new book beloved science writer Mary Roach wrangles a question that has defied satisfactory resolution for centuries: What is the proper course of action when nature breaks laws intended for people? Roach approaches this question with the same keen wit she previously applied to sex (Bonk), death (Stiff), ghosts (Spook), and space (Packing for Mars).

Roach’s globe-spanning survey covers drunken elephants in India, seagull vandals in the Vatican, and our beloved mountain lions in California. She reveals how peace between species is tantalizingly within our reach—if only we could do a better job of keeping respectfully apart.”

Join us for a conversation with author Mary Roach as she discusses her book – “FUZZ: When Nature Breaks the Law” with Mountain Lion Foundation’s own Jessica Janson.

About Mary Roach:

Mary Roach is the author of the New York Times bestsellers STIFF, SPOOK, BONK, GULP, GRUNT, and PACKING FOR MARS. Mary has written for National Geographic, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine, among others, and her TED talk made the TED 20 Most Watched list. She has been a guest editor for Best American Science and Nature Writing, a finalist for the Royal Society’s Winton Prize, and a winner of the American Engineering Societies’ journalism award, in a category for which, let’s be honest, she was the sole entrant.

On the Trail with Photographer Roy Toft: The Art of Photographing Pumas and Other Wildcats

On the Trail with Photographer Roy Toft: The Art of Photographing Pumas and Other Wildcats

Credit: Roy Toft

Wildlife photographer Roy Toft  discusses the art of photographing pumas and other wildcats with Mountain Lion Foundation’s own Jessica Janson.

From exotic locations all over the globe we explore photographer Roy Toft’s world of pumas and other wildcats through the lens of his camera. Join us and be part of the adventure!

About Roy Toft:

Roy started working as a full-time wildlife photographer in 1991. Spending 6-9 months in the field every year producing natural history content for magazines, books, etc. Around 2000, Roy started leading photo safaris around the world to photography enthusiasts as well as continuing his assignment and stock work. In 2005, Roy became a founding fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers. This elite group of top professionals combine their talents to further conservation causes around the globe. Roy’s images have been published widely in popular magazines like National Geographic, Discover, Smithsonian, Audubon, etc. His coffee table book “Osa…where the Rainforest meets the Sea” is a wonderful tribute to an area in Costa Rica where Roy owned property and has been visiting for over 30 years. Roy makes his home in the beautiful boulders of Ramona with his wife Stella.

Credit: Roy Toft

Mountain Lions in an Era of Rapid Climate and Land-use Change

Mountain Lions in an Era of Rapid Climate and Land-use Change

The mountain lion is a widely distributed carnivore, found in tropical and temperate latitudes throughout the western hemisphere. Its habitat requirements are highly generalized, being largely defined by the presence of ungulate prey and stalking cover. The species has demonstrated incredible tenacity in the face of anthropogenic pressures during the past century. Nevertheless, western landscapes are undergoing rapid changes stemming from human population growth, land-use, and climate desiccation, raising questions about the persistence of this iconic species. Dr. David Stoner explores the relationship between mountain lions and the ecological communities that support them in an era of climate change. Dr. Stoner argues that as an obligate carnivore, mountain lions should follow the changes in the distribution of their primary herbivore prey along gradients of habitat connectivity and land-use. However, drying of western ecosystems will make human subsidized landscapes increasingly important to both mountain lions and their prey, with commensurate increases in the potential for human-wildlife conflict.

About Dr. David Stoner

Dr. David Stoner is a Research Assistant Professor and Lecturer in the Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University. He is a graduate of the University of California and Utah State University. Over the past 25 years he has worked with state wildlife agencies in California, Utah, and Nevada on scientific investigations of mountain lions and their major prey species. He is currently focused on interactions between mule deer, mountain lions, and wild horses in the southern Great Basin.

CANCELLED: Lions in Nebraska – The Golden Ghosts Return: A Conversation with Author Valerie Vierk

Event Cancelled:
Mountain Lions in Nebraska – The Golden Ghosts Return: A Conversation with Author Valerie Vierk

October 14, 2021 @ 1:00PM — 2:30PM Pacific Time (US & Canada) includes limited live Q&A afterwards.

Unfortunately, due to poor weather and technological issues, this event has been cancelled. We will send out details on rescheduling or alternate options soon.

Join us for a conversation with author Valerie Vierk as she discusses her book – “Mountain Lions in Nebraska – The Golden Ghosts Return” with the Mountain Lion Foundation’s own Jessica Janson.

About Valerie Vierk:
Valerie Vierk is an author who writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction. A writer since her earliest years, in 2005 she published her first book, Gold Stars and Purple Hearts—the War Dead of the Ravenna Area.

Valerie’s sixth book, Mountain Lions in Nebraska—The Golden Ghosts Return, covers a brief history of mountain lions during the colonial times of the United States. It then weaves a tale of the lion in Nebraska during the early 1900s, moving into the “modern era” and the first documented killing of a cougar in the northwestern part of the state. The book tells the history of the often contentious issue of the big golden cats returning to their former homes in the Midwest after an absence of over a hundred years. Mountain Lions In Nebraska also gives brief histories of Nebraska’s neighboring states that allow trophy hunting of mountain lions–South Dakota, Colorado, and Wyoming. The book is richly illustrated with 90 photos, many taken by the author, plus political cartoons, maps, and charts.

Valerie’s fascination with mountain lions started in childhood. She believes it was prompted by her mother reading her and her brother Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods. In this book, Pa Ingalls tells of a “black panther” chasing him and his horse through the woods. Garth Williams provided two sketches on the black panther and years later, upon looking at the book again, realized that was probably where her fascination for cougars began.

Additionally, Valerie is a life-long nature lover. She credits her late mother, Virginia, with introducing her to nature at a young age. Since 1974, Valerie has maintained a large bluebird trail to help the eastern bluebirds that are in need of housing since natural nesting sites are in short supply. In 2021, Valerie has a 140 box bluebird trail.

In 2012 she founded a non-profit titled “Holly Jean’s Hope Cat Spaying” to help the unowned cats of her little town of Ravenna, population 1,340. Years later this organization now feeds many cats each day in three locations.

Purchase Valerie’s book here:
Mountain Lions in Nebraska: The Golden Ghosts Return

Bighorn’s Gordian Knot: Beyond the Dance of the Predator Prey Relationship

Bighorn’s Gordian Knot: Beyond the Dance of the Predator Prey Relationship

Interspersed with exclusive video, Leslie will discuss the complexity of issues facing the recovery of bighorn sheep; how mountain lions are being culled for bighorn relocations into their historic ranges; and what the future might hold for healthy bighorn populations.

“If we value bighorn sheep, then there needs to be a way to fund programs that support bighorns other than through hunts and super tags. There is something obscene in the sole financial support to save bighorns throughout the West—native wildlife that are in the public trust—relying on a sliver of mega-rich trophy hunters. Additionally, being dependent exclusively on hunters for bighorn dollars creates a vicious cycle that pressures agencies to put more bighorns on every mountain so as to increase revenue. It also fuels extreme predator management programs like in New Mexico, where the culling of lions never ends despite bighorn herds that are thriving.” – Bighorns’ Gordian Knot


About Leslie Patten:

Leslie Patten is a naturalist and writer. Living for over fifteen years in Northwest Wyoming, she loves exploring, hiking, and camera trapping wildlife. In her book Ghostwalker: Tracking a Mountain Lion’s Soul through Science and Story, she interviewed over fifty wildlife biologists, trackers, conservationists and houndsmen to reveal the hidden world of mountain lions. Her most recent book, Shadow Landscape, is a compilation of wildlife stories. Continuing her research into mountain lions, Shadow Landscape contains an essay entitled Bighorns’ Gordian Knot that investigates the tangled and politically fraught issue of bighorn sheep and mountain lions.

“The Puma Years” with Laura Coleman

“The Puma Years” with Laura Coleman

In her early twenties, Laura Coleman finds herself living in London, her life an endless loop of commuting and corporate meetings. Tired of tight tailored suits and lacking direction, she quits her job and sets out for South America. Two months into her three-month trip to Bolivia, Laura is tired, bloated, sunburnt, lonely, and ready to go home. But a flyer about an animal welfare charity encourages her to stick it out, and soon she is en route to “el parque” in the heart of the Amazon. Arriving at el parque, Laura finds an underfunded, understaffed, dilapidated camp, along with suicidal howler monkeys, megalomaniac pigs, toothless jaguars, and many more animals who had been abused and abandoned. She also meets a timid and moody puma named Wayra who she now has to learn how to “walk” outside of her enclosure. Within days, all Laura can think about is going home. But after several weeks of barely showering, being eaten alive by bugs, and doing work that pushes her to a physical and emotional exhaustion she’s never known, Laura deliberately misses her flight back to England and spends the next two years learning how to trust Wayra, as well as how to trust herself.

Set against a backdrop of deforestation, illegal animal trade, and forest fires, THE PUMA YEARS: A Memoir explores what happens when two desperate creatures in need of rescue find one another. Laura lures the reader into the center of the Bolivian jungle with her exquisite descriptions of the vivid colors, insects, animals, trees, plants, dirt, and swamps that she encounters daily. The emotional highs and lows are real and raw. The relationships – with both animals and humans – are complicated, but intimate. And we fall in love with all of el parque’s residents. As that three-month ticket to Bolivia slowly turns into her life mission, Laura finds her passion and herself through helping endangered animals. Readers watch with tenderness and awe as Laura blossoms into a courageous leader, having started as an unwitting volunteer and growing to become el parque’s fiercest supporter. In this truly immersive and moving memoir, Laura explores the unique love that exists between humans and animals. Earnest, yet humorous in tone, this book is for anyone who is seeking self-discovery, a sense of belonging, unconditional love, or a greater purpose.

About Laura Coleman

Laura Coleman (she/her) is a writer and an artist. She has lived and worked in Bolivia for over a decade, caring for rescued wild animals with the NGO Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi. This is the subject of her first book, a memoir, entitled THE PUMA YEARS. She is also the founder of ONCA, a Brighton (UK) based arts charity that bridges social and environmental justice issues with creativity, and she lives by the sea on the Isle of Eigg in Scotland with a dog called Nelo.

Twitter/Instagram/FB: @laurajcol / @laura_zc / @lauracolemanauthor