South Dakota. High demand, low harvest has advocates taking notice

Mountain lions face some very unique challenges in South Dakota. Politically there is a strong unscientific push to basically remove as many cougars as possible, especially from the areas through which¬†dispersal might naturally take place. There is also a relative lack of public land where lions might be protected if there was an intelligent attitude towards them. Livestock growers do benefit from maintaining an enhanced environment and even though it can mean changing human behavior, there are ways to reduce conflict. Whether people are willing to live in harmony with the landscape or whether they seek dominion and are not willing to accommodate small inconveniences is the question that must be asked. Putting the kind of pressure that has been directed at the fairly new mountain lion population of the Black Hills in the name of recreation brings negative attention to this great state–where the politics could be perceived as more reminiscent of ‘Deadwood’ than of the 21st century