Thursday, December 21, 2006

If cougars aren't safe in a refuge, where are they protected?

Source: Mountain Lion Foundation
Date: 12/19/2006

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a sport hunting season on mountain lions in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Kofa Refuge is located in Arizona on federal land and belongs to every one of us.

The USFWS claims that 5 mountain lions (two males and one female with two kittens) call the Kofa Refuge home. The reported population estimate is a speculative guesstimate and is certainly not adequate to support opening a hunt. As a matter of fact, several efforts by experienced trackers to locate, capture and radio-collar a mountain lion on the Kofa Refuge ended in failure. This decision does not hold the best interests of the local mountain lion population or the American public at heart.

Regardless, there is a great deal of political pressure being used to push this hunt through. Much of the pressure is coming from the Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club, whose legislative chair is also the chairman of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, which sets hunting regulations and policy for the state.

The estimated cost to the Kofa Refuge to administer the proposed hunt will be $24,000 annually! Since the funds for the Kofa NWR ultimately come from federal taxes, you would be subsidizing the hunting of America’s Lion on our public lands.

Learn more about the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and the proposed mountain lion hunting season.

Help Stop Proposed Mountain Lion Hunt on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

Write the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and tell them to stop this misguided and scientifically indefensible plan. Your letters must be received by Friday, December 29th, 2006.

Send your letters to:
J. Paul Cornes, Manager
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Kofa National Wildlife Refuge
356 W. 1st Street
Yuma, Arizona 85364
Phone: 928-783-7861
Fax: 928-783- 8611

Take it a step further! Ask your Congress person to tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect America’s lion on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.

Find your Senator’s contact information

Find your Representative’s contact information

Your personal letters have far more impact than a form letter provided by the Mountain Lion Foundation. While e-mails and phone calls help, your letters faxed or sent by US Postal Service have the maximum impact.

Here are a few points to consider for your letter:

There is not enough sound-scientific information on the status of mountain lions on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge to provide a biological justification for a hunt.

The American public should not be expected to pay $24,000 a year to subsidize the hunting of America’s lion so one or two private hunters can take home a trophy.

If wildlife is not safe on a refuge, where on earth are they protected?

It is important that they receive as many letters opposing this proposal as possible. Please forward this email to your friends, family, and co-workers. Let's all speak up to save America's lion in Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.

For the lions,

Karen Cotton, Director of Outreach
Mountain Lion Foundation

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