Senate Bill 3049, introduced by Senator Linda Holmes (D - Aurora) has successfully passed out of the Illinois Legislature and is now sitting on the Governor's desk awaiting his signature.
SB 3049, which passed on the last day of session, places Gray wolves, American black bears, and mountain lions on Illinois' protected species list, and eliminates the current practice of allowing people to shoot them on sight with no questions asked.
Illinois' indigenous mountain lion population was extirpated sometime around 1855. For several years now dispersing males from nearby western states have attempted to return to Illinois to find a mate and establish a territory of their own, but so far all have died as a result of human activities.
If passed, it's hoped that SB 3049's protections will allow the natural reintroduction of Puma concolor someday in Illinois' near future.
Illinois residents are encouraged to contact Governor Quinn and ask him to sign SB 3049 and give mountain lions the help they need to reestablish themselves on a small part of their historic range.
Governor Pat Quinn
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706