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History

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Image of Library-Spirt of the Rockies Book - Cover b

The Cougar Fund was founded in 2001 by writer Cara Blessley Lowe and photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen after a first hand experience observing a mother lion and her three cubs on the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Frequent collaborators, Blessley Lowe and Mangelsen produced a book called Spirit of the Rockies: The Mountain Lions of Jackson Hole and a subsequent short film documentary on the historical event.

These two pieces went on to garner major national media attention, broadly publicizing the principle issues facing cougars at the dawn of the 21st century: lack of scientific data on cougar populations within state game agencies, inadequate regulations to protect female cougars and their dependent young, and a dwindling natural habitat further fragmented by human development.