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Mountain Lions Have Tuolumne County’s Attention

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Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Supervisors are concerned about a proposed law that would require the use of non-lethal methods when removing mountain lions.

Next Monday the state Senate Appropriations Committee will vote on SB 132. Unless Department of Fish and Wildlife officials on the scene are in risk of death or physical harm, it would mandate that they use non-lethal methods when called to remove mountain lions found in unwanted locations.

The Tuolumne County Supervisors voted 5-0 to send a letter in opposition to the legislation. The Supervisors feel the bill would have a negative impact on rural counties. The Board’s letter states, “This change in rules on the taking of mountain lions is potentially dangerous to humans and could have rippling effects as relocated mountain lions may lose their fear of humans.” The letter goes on to say, “The concept of relocating a large animal such as a mountain lion could result in a situation similar to that of Yosemite bears who routinely return to the location where they were originally taken. Many times these same bears cause increasingly more damage and pose greater danger to themselves and humans.”

SB 132 was introduced by Senator Jerry Hill of San Mateo following a highly publicized situation last December where two young cubs were killed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife after they were found underneath the deck of a home in Half Moon Bay. The process carried out by the Department of Fish and Wildlife resulted in heavy criticism from wildlife advocacy groups.