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Opinion
Text: The editorial voice of the Mountain Lion Foundation.

9/15/2011

WDFW Can't Change Its Spots

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is asking the public's opinion on this year's cougar hunting regulations and quotas. Unfortunately the Department is carrying out this task in such a way that only hunters are being officially notified of the request. Once again a state game agency, supposedly mandated to protect the state's natural resources for all of its citizenry is twisting the rules to ensure a desired outcome which will only benefit an extremely small but influential special interest group.

The Department's own scientists have recommended a reduction in the number of cougars killed across the state, but WDFW officials refuse to accept their advice and want a higher mortality quota as well as reintroducing the use of hounds in the killing of cougars for recreational purposes. Because these actions can not bear public scrutiny as being scientifically-based, the Department has resorted to providing itself with a proverbial fig leaf in the way of a so-called public survey. However, since only those who have purchased a hunting license within the past three years are being asked for comments the end results can hardly be anything except biased in favor of increased cougar hunting opportunities.

While the Department may be politically correct with the high-sounding name of Fish and Wildlife and reasonable sounding management plans, it haven't changed it's spots and is still basically the same old Department of Fish and Game where it's primary reason for existence is providing hunter satisfaction.

Time is short with only a few more days left to make your opinion know. If you live in Washington, please take a few minutes to fill out WDFW's survey and impart this simple message:

If you won't ban the recreational killing of cougars in Washington, then total human-caused mortalities must not exceed 12% of the estimated adult cougar population in any Game Management Unit (GMU).


The survey is at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/huntingseasons

On the survey, Issue 3 and Issue 4 pertain to cougar hunting.

Choose Other, then enter your message.

If you would like to get further involved in the fight to save Washington's cougars then please get in contact with MLF's Washington Field Representative Bob McCoy (bmccoy@mountainlion.org) or contact the Foundation directly mlf@mountainlion.org.

Find out more on Washington's cougars by visiting the state page http://www.mountainlion.org/States/_state_Washington.asp

And be kept informed on cougar issues by signing up for electronic updates and stories.



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