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Letters to the Editor

Letters from local residents are more effective than letters from the Mountain Lion Foundation staff.   As their reader or viewer, your thoughts and feeling carry much more weight with both the news staff and their audience.

When you read an unbalanced story, write a letter to the editor asking them to focus on the bigger picture and the long range view:   the role predators play in sustaining our natural environment.   When you see a slanted television story, call the station and ask them to consider compiling a feature story to more thoroughly explore the threats facing mountain lions today.   Your letters or calls will cause the media decision-makers to stop and consider their responsibility to inform.

Here are the salient points the media can not ignore:
  • A healthy and stable mountain lion population is essential to a rich balance of nature
  • Mountain lions are indicator species, their loss indicating habitat degradation and loss of diversity
  • Too many lions are dying already from depredation kills.
  • The cougar is one of the last great predators. Their survival is a moral obligation.

The Basics of Writing a Letter to the Editor

Familiarize yourself with the letters section of your local papers on a regular basis. There is typically a limit of 200 words. 

When a story about cougars appears, ask yourself whether the story is balanced and factually correct. Notice whether the report talked to the Mountain Lion Foundation, scientists, and local environmental organizations as well as government agencies.

Pick the main point you wish to emphasize and make it your only point. Keep it simple, polite and direct. Mention the Mountain Lion Foundation and our phone number 916-442-2666 ext 101 as a source of additional information. If you need help, give us a call.

Carefully follow the published guidelines for letters to the editor. Print your full name, address and phone number at the top of the letter. Sign the letter at the bottom. Whenever possible, fax or email or deliver your letter by hand. Timely letters are much more likely to be printed.

Send the Mountain Lion Foundation a copy of your letter, as well as the original story. When your letter is published, send that as well.

 



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