A fine editorial as cougar increasingly reinhabit the Cornhusker state-

Wild, rare and beautiful. Editorial in the Lincoln (NB) Journal-Star

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

2 Responses to Lincoln Journal-Star: Nebraska mountain lions . . . wild, rare and beautiful

  1. avatar CQ says:

    You’re right, Ralph, it IS a fine editorial.

    I second the suggestion (see “Discussion” tab next to the “Story” tab) by Dude R.P.: “Take down the fences, remove the center pivot irrigators and let most of Nebraska revert to its natural state. We could have one of the most beautiful National Parks (grasslands) in the system. Tourism could be a better economic driver than the dryland farming we subsidize in this state, if people only had vision.”

    If I could mention a couple things about the editorial that make me wince: the arrogant notion that the mountain lions who roam MUST be caught or killed, the absurd idea that a wild creature who is made to roam far and wide is actually “well” at a zoo, and the unthinking use of the words “that” and “which” (often used in conjunction with “it”) instead of “who” to describe sentient beings.

    I’m referring specifically to these two sentences:

    “The number includes a mountain lion THAT was captured in Omaha in 2003 near 114th St. and West Dodge, one of the business intersections in the city. The tawny animal, WHICH was wounded by a shotgun blast, can be seen today alive and WELL at the Henry Doorly Zoo.”

    It’s troubling that even people who are PRO-wild animals think it’s right for us to “manage” them and determine their fate, instead of calling for measures that would allow these beautiful creatures to live freely in environs of their choosing. As Dude R.P.’s comment (above) makes clear, we are helping ourselves, ethically and economically, as well as the animals, physically and emotionally, when we take the high road, putting on an equal footing all parties eager to live and be free.

  2. avatar Jon Way says:

    I agree CQ. There is no evidence that a transient mt lion is a danger in these urban areas like the one they just shot. They are not consistent with protecting people b.c for every one that is seen (and eventually shot) probably many more go through undetected. There is no reason these animals can’t be sedated and moved to the first wooded area outside of the urban area. Then it can continue its nomadic journey to colonize new areas.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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