A recent review of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks' (SDGF&P) website led to an unexpected discovery. In the section titled "Mountain Lions in South Dakota" there are a series of links to associated web pages and the following notification.
"Authorized use - The public is hereby authorized to view the information available on this web site for informational purposes only. This data is the property of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. No part of the data appearing on this website may be used (including but not limited to use in publications and/or presentations), redistributed, copied or reproduced in any form, without the prior written consent of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Any use, redistribution, copying or reproduction of the data appearing on this website without the prior written consent of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks is expressly prohibited."
This notification is repeated on several of the mountain lion-related web pages, but a random search failed to find this or any similar warnings elsewhere on the Department's website.
Which brings the question--What public information are they providing which they are afraid will be used for purposes they will not like? Is it the on going mountain lion death toll? The vague scientific reasoning for even having a lion hunt in the first place? Or maybe it is just their natural distrust of people who don't share their same values of killing lions for fun.
Whatever the reason, its "Freudian slips" like this which clearly demonstrate the SDGF&P's attitude towards anyone which might question how a state agency which is suppose to protect wildlife feels toward mountain lion protection advocates.