News

District stops weighing rule on 'lethal removal' of mountain lions, coyotes

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space considered a 'three strikes' rule for animals preying on cattle

Activists on Friday applauded a decision by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District that eliminates the possibility of "lethal removal" of mountain lions from its lands in the South Bay.

The agency, which manages nearly 65,000 acres of open space, was considering a "three strikes" rule to kill mountain lions and coyotes that fail to respond to efforts to stop their predation on livestock on district land. The district has 11,000 acres it leases for grazing, staff said.

"As a conservation agency, Midpen prioritizes wildlife protection," district General Manager Ana Ruiz said. "As a land management agency, our conservation grazing partners are asking for help in managing these conflicts. Based on input from our wildlife advocacy partners and the public at and after our Oct. 22 board committee meeting, we are no longer exploring a three-strikes option currently being used to protect mountain lions in Southern California. We are continuing our current practice of prohibiting lethal removal of mountain lions and coyotes on Midpen lands now and into the future."

The announcement was a reversal of a concept being considered on district lands in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

"We're glad to see Midpen officials dropping the truly terrible idea of killing Bay Area mountain lions," said Tiffany Yap, a biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. "This wise decision supports the open space district's goals of conserving the area's native species and rich biodiversity, as the public wanted when they voted to conserve these lands.

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"We look forward to working with Midpen and other stakeholders to help protect imperiled mountain lions. Any grazing practices allowed need to be compatible with native wildlife and animal habitats."

The district will hold a public-input meeting on addressing predator-livestock conflict on Dec. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mountain View Community Center, 201 S. Rengstorff Ave. in Mountain View.

"By working together to find new and better ways region-wide to reduce predator-livestock conflicts, we also reduce the pressure of lethal removal that mountain lions and coyotes face on private land, resulting in overall greater protection for both livestock and native predators," the district said in an announcement.

The district said its grazing program, conducted in collaboration with small-scale local ranchers, helps protect native grasslands while managing vegetation growth to reduce wildfire risk and support local agriculture.

"Options that Midpen is continuing to explore include reimbursements for livestock losses, reduced rental rates and predator deterrents (e.g., noise/visual deterrents, guard animals, fencing and modifications to grazing operations)," the district said.

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More details about the issue are available at openspace.org/grazing-management-policy-amendment.

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District stops weighing rule on 'lethal removal' of mountain lions, coyotes

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space considered a 'three strikes' rule for animals preying on cattle

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Sat, Nov 23, 2019, 4:20 pm
Updated: Tue, Nov 26, 2019, 6:55 pm

Activists on Friday applauded a decision by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District that eliminates the possibility of "lethal removal" of mountain lions from its lands in the South Bay.

The agency, which manages nearly 65,000 acres of open space, was considering a "three strikes" rule to kill mountain lions and coyotes that fail to respond to efforts to stop their predation on livestock on district land. The district has 11,000 acres it leases for grazing, staff said.

"As a conservation agency, Midpen prioritizes wildlife protection," district General Manager Ana Ruiz said. "As a land management agency, our conservation grazing partners are asking for help in managing these conflicts. Based on input from our wildlife advocacy partners and the public at and after our Oct. 22 board committee meeting, we are no longer exploring a three-strikes option currently being used to protect mountain lions in Southern California. We are continuing our current practice of prohibiting lethal removal of mountain lions and coyotes on Midpen lands now and into the future."

The announcement was a reversal of a concept being considered on district lands in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

"We're glad to see Midpen officials dropping the truly terrible idea of killing Bay Area mountain lions," said Tiffany Yap, a biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. "This wise decision supports the open space district's goals of conserving the area's native species and rich biodiversity, as the public wanted when they voted to conserve these lands.

"We look forward to working with Midpen and other stakeholders to help protect imperiled mountain lions. Any grazing practices allowed need to be compatible with native wildlife and animal habitats."

The district will hold a public-input meeting on addressing predator-livestock conflict on Dec. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mountain View Community Center, 201 S. Rengstorff Ave. in Mountain View.

"By working together to find new and better ways region-wide to reduce predator-livestock conflicts, we also reduce the pressure of lethal removal that mountain lions and coyotes face on private land, resulting in overall greater protection for both livestock and native predators," the district said in an announcement.

The district said its grazing program, conducted in collaboration with small-scale local ranchers, helps protect native grasslands while managing vegetation growth to reduce wildfire risk and support local agriculture.

"Options that Midpen is continuing to explore include reimbursements for livestock losses, reduced rental rates and predator deterrents (e.g., noise/visual deterrents, guard animals, fencing and modifications to grazing operations)," the district said.

More details about the issue are available at openspace.org/grazing-management-policy-amendment.

Comments

resident
Downtown North
on Nov 23, 2019 at 4:25 pm
resident, Downtown North
on Nov 23, 2019 at 4:25 pm
12 people like this

Can't the ranchers just buy insurance for these kinds of losses? I read in another newspaper that the number of animals killed by mountain lions is really small.


Doing The Right Thing
Barron Park
on Nov 24, 2019 at 12:32 pm
Doing The Right Thing, Barron Park
on Nov 24, 2019 at 12:32 pm
2 people like this

Good call. Killing natural predators on privately-owned land is one thing.

Doing the same on public land is another.

Down around the Hollister area, there is an ongoing problem with feral pigs (escaped domestic pigs gone wild) uprooting the natural habitat.

On private land, some of the ranchers will organize hunting parties where it is legal to eradicate these pests from destroying plants & grazing land.

I have gone on a couple of these excursions and it is fun to pack your favorite 30-30 rifle & take them out. Having a 4x4 vehicle adds to the effectiveness of the eradication & in many instances, the dead pigs are donated to various state prisons for food services.

Porky Pig knows better than to wandering around on private land in Hollister!


Johng
Crescent Park
on Nov 25, 2019 at 12:44 pm
Johng, Crescent Park
on Nov 25, 2019 at 12:44 pm
11 people like this

Lethal removal of our local top predator should never have been under review. Study after study confirms the detrimental impact of removing key predators.

I would like to see the MIdpen Regional Open Space District commit to adding a bylaw that prohibits lethal removal of native species in perpetuity.

Thanks to the many who wrote-in to bring MidPen leadership to their senses.


Cur Mudgeon
Greenmeadow
on Nov 25, 2019 at 1:15 pm
Cur Mudgeon, Greenmeadow
on Nov 25, 2019 at 1:15 pm
4 people like this

Three words. Livestock guardian dogs, who were bred for this purpose.


ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Nov 25, 2019 at 1:21 pm
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2019 at 1:21 pm
9 people like this

Frankly this proposal should never have been added to the agenda. Thank God it has been discarded. I thought Mid-Pen was reimbursing the ranchers for cattle and sheep killed by predators. Mid-Pen needs to stick to their original purpose.


Unnecessary initiative
Los Altos Hills
on Nov 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm
Unnecessary initiative, Los Altos Hills
on Nov 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm
12 people like this

I'm still shocked that Midpen even considered this! Cattle has long been known to cause environmental issues and they're a HUGE contributor to greenhouse gasses. We don't need to protect cattle and the destruction of the environment, we need to protect our natural predators/prey that are already native to this land. While I'm glad that sense was talked into Midpen, I'm still concerned that this fight may not be over.

Why does greed and power always overthrow common sense and sustainability?


Greg Schuett
Mayfield
on Nov 28, 2019 at 5:38 pm
Greg Schuett, Mayfield
on Nov 28, 2019 at 5:38 pm
2 people like this

I agree that killing native wildlife, especially top predators, in order to protect cattle on public land is a nonstarter. If it becomes too much of a problem, then the cattle must go. Cattle now number in the billions worldwide while mountain lions number a few thousand in California. We humans must do a better job of learning to live with native wildlife. Already wild animals are but a fraction of the total mammal biomass on our planet compared to humans and our domestic animals. We must favor wildlife in almost every decision we make if we don’t want to be left with a world with greatly diminished biodiversity.


musical
Palo Verde
on Nov 28, 2019 at 5:52 pm
musical, Palo Verde
on Nov 28, 2019 at 5:52 pm
2 people like this

^ We must favor wildlife ... except skunks under your house and rats in the attic.


eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Nov 28, 2019 at 7:26 pm
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2019 at 7:26 pm
Like this comment

Mountain Lions kill coyotes that will move into your neighborhood unless they are naturally controled.
Keep the mountain lions.!


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