I recall in 1990 reading Proposition 117. It said there were fewer than 1,000 mountain lions in California and in order to keep them from becoming extinct, we had to vote to protect them from hunting. I knew that it would pass because millions of voters, thinking the lion would become extinct, would vote to protect it. The mountain lion is a beautiful creature and nobody should want them extinct, but there does need to be fewer of them. There are now estimated to be 6,000 in the state – an increase of 5,000 – with each killing an average of 40 deer per year. That comes to 200,000 more deer killed per year. If a ballot measure were introduced that could get the lion population down to where it had been, deer herds could once again thrive. The state would sell more deer tags, and they could sell lion tags instead of paying millions to track down the troublesome lions. An increase of deer keeps wildfires down because they feed on new-growth brush. When there is a good supply of deer, people are safer. When there is not, people, pets and livestock are in danger.
Rocci Pometta, Newman
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