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The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has proclaimed victory (Salt Lake Tribune, 8/12/2005) in permitting the killing of so many cougars in the past decade that, in order to “balance” the killing, Utah houndsmen will have to accept fewer “opportunities” to tree the magnificent wild cats with packs of radio-collared hounds and shoot them at point blank range.

Mountain Lion by M. PettisLatest kill statistics were down 30% from the previous kill of an incredible 447 dead mountain lions—all without knowing how many lions actually inhabit Utah. And the average age of a lion killed by houndsmen last year was an appalling 2 ½ years old.) They call this slaughter a sport!

The prime directive of this division, its regional advisory councils and the Utah Wildlife Board continues to be build a mighty deer herd so lucrative hunting licenses can secure the viability of the agency, not the creatures with whose welfare it was supposedly created.

But now, as always, those Evil Predators that compete with humans for hoofed prey have been put in the place. With our borders secured against wolves and with bear cubs and sows once again targets in a ghastly spring bear hunt, this division can pursue its monoculture of big game at the expense of all other species. It has victoriously gagged public input that counters these unsporting attacks against wildlife.

What a broken web of life the Division of WILDLIFE has spun in Utah.

Margaret Pettis

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