Sierra Club Monthly Program:
“Living with Cougars” with Penny Maldonado, Executive Director, the Cougar Fund
Thurs. March 23, 7 p.m. First United Methodist Church, 7020 Cass St. Omaha Enter north door ‘Education’ wing Cougars, or mountain lions, are native to Nebraska, but were eliminated from the state by the late 1800s after being over-hunted by settlers. However, the species survived in neighboring states, and eventually returned to Nebraska, with the first confirmed mountain lion sighting in Nebraska in modern times coming in 1991 in the Pine Ridge.
The Cougar Fund is a national conservation organization based in Jackson Wyoming. Executive Director Penny Maldonado will share the story of The Cougar Fund’s formation, and explore how communities can learn to discern the myth from the reality of this most magnificent and elusive animal. Her presentation will discuss how we can value the ecological contributions of cougars, and secure a safe place for them, in an ever-decreasing natural landscape.
Mountain lions can be a controversial topic, with farmers and ranchers often viewing them as a threat to livestock. Mountain lions were classified as a game animal by the NE legislature in 1995, and statutes allowing hunting were created in 2012, giving Game and Parks the authority to manage their hunting. An inaugural hunting season was held in 2014, but Game and Parks has not allowed mountain lion hunting since then, due to their low population numbers. In 2014, Sen. Ernie Chambers passed a bill in the NE legislature to end the hunting of mountain lions; however, then-governor Dave Heineman vetoed the bill. Since then Sen. Chambers has continued working to ban the hunting of mountain lions in Nebraska.
Please join us for this interesting and informative presentation. Sierra Club programs are free and open to the public. More information at http://www.sierraclub.org/nebraska