The earth is changing, and due to nature’s innate elements, she is responding.
The most efficient landscapes are collectively managed by the wolf, the cougar and the bear; protective mechanisms, that during a time of climate change help retain resiliency of Oregon’s vast and diversified ecosystems. Apex predator guild relationships have evolved over millennia and are critical for the health of Oregon’s soil, water, plant base and forest ecoservices.
Humans cannot kill with the ecological synergy of the wolf, cougar and the bear and O.D.F.W.’s irrupted numbers of ungulates managed for sports hunting and invasive species cattle industry; have for the last one hundred and fifty years, compromised Oregon’s soil crusts, plant base, stream channels, and ecological wildlife and plant diversity.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s current apex predator management and population models for the cougar, wolf and bear appear to be made of political indifference, institutional stealth policy advocacy science, monetary greed and statutorily illegal lawmaking that darkens the open door of our good intents.
Reliable science and decision-making processes are better tools when peer reviewed by a diverse panel of scientific experts and supports a transparent government and the inclusion of social, economic and ecological considerations and the higher ecological services of the apex predator guild. These elements appear missing from O.D.F.W.’s apex predator management plans. Ranchers, hunters, timber industries and tourism all need to think like an ecologist.
We protect what we fall in love with.
OREGON COUGAR ACTION TEAM IS A 5o1C3 NFP GRASS ROOTS CONSERVATION PROGRAM THAT IS UNIQUELY OREGON!
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION TO Put America's Lion - the Cougar - on the Endangered Species List Dan Ashe, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
American Lions, the cougar, are facing unprecedented species selection eradication TROPHY HUNTING programs across the Nation. These are not just killing programs, they are extinction programs selecting one apex predator the wolf over another, the cougar. Wildlife managers in Utah, Oregon, New Mexico and other States are implementing plans to increase the killing of America’s lions as a way to “protect” wolves and make room for game hunting and invasive cattle operations.
Allyson Miller grew up on her family’s 7000 acre working cattle ranch in Kamath Falls, Oregon where they ran 1000 head of cattle according to the principles of Aldo Leopold - and they had cougar. Today, Miller is a permaculture rancher who understands that if she loses a calf or cow to a cougar, that is the price she is willing to pay to protect our ecological services that she believes are more vital to the planet than her bank account. Allyson Jayne Miller is a Bio-regionalist, past elected board member of Marion Soil and Water Conservation District, environmental author, artist, illustrator and founding director of Oregon's cougar, wolf and bear preservation programs and permaculture farmer.
Letter from Allyson,
I will be the first to admite that ranching is ecologically dysfunctional and so are the negative externalities of food producers such as sugar companies and other ecosystem simplified agriculture industries. Food sources such as these kill at so many levels; species, environments, our children and you via disease from eating their foods. The cougar is a genetic legacy from the prehistoric American Lions and the American Cheetahs, both six times larger than the cougar. Cougar survived their relatives and the ice age, pulling humans and the ecological services necessary for our survival along with them into a whole new world. As payback for this incredible relationship, we kill them to extinction - the very species that created the ecological functions we need to survive. We need them to do the same for us during this time of climate change crises. Ban cattle and sugar and other processes that extract from the earth, destroying life and limb of man and ecosystems.
Do better than the status quo of ranching and corporate business. Leave the cougars alone to do the job they did for us in the past, create the ecological services necessary to mitigate climate change a second time.
Who are Oregon’s apex predators?
Mountain Lion (Felis Concolor). Cougar can be found in the coast ranges, Blue Mountains and the Cascade, but like the wolf, their historic range variables (H.R.V.) once included the entire state of Oregon as well as all the states in the U.S.A. Current population numbers are wrong. Oregon does not have 6000 cougar. Heavily suppressed for cattle and hunting industries
Wolf (Canis lupus). Coast ranges, Blue Mountains and Cascade Range. Near extinction levels in Oregon.
Black Bear (Ursus Americanus). Coast ranges, Blue Mountains and the Cascade. Omnivore. Heavily suppressed for timber operations.
Ungulate Prey Base
Eastern Oregon Mule Deer (O.h. hemionus)
Eastern Oregon Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervuselaphus)
Why are they important to protect Oregon’s ecosystems?
Bear, cougar and wolf protect Oregon’s ecology for future generations. Cougar, wolf and bear affect the dynamics of species diversity and abundance that influence water and nutrient transfer, oxygen, Net Primary Productivity, pollinators, soil health and many more trophic interactions. Cougar have strong ecosystem effects that can increase the efficiency of resource use and help stabilize socioeconomic concerns.
What must we do to help protect Oregon’s ecosystems?
Oregon’s community well-being, resiliency and transformability are directly connected to the health of the plant community, soil resiliency and threshold limits that the apex predators, cougar, wolf and bear defend. Taxpayers costs to repair the ecological damage done to soil and plant base from cattle, timber and hunting industries nullify any money made from hunting tags, rancher grazing fees or the predictably unsustainable timber jobs.
It is time to remove cattle from county, federal and state lands and instead create a sustainable rotational grazing program that allows large segments of land to rest from human encroachment. Replace the large-scale cattle operations with small sustainable permaculture locally grown cattle and food on small farms that are messy with ecology! Reduce global demand for beef.
Everyone needs to think like an ecologist! Every rancher, timber company, fishing industry and hunter needs to pass ecology certification programs before being allowed to venture into any industry associated with ecosystem functions and services.
Why such radical changes in management?
It takes all three apex predators to balance the ecology of an ecosystem community. Seasons reflect the bears eating habits, forests are cougars preferred hunting grounds, and wolves stay on the fringes of the meadows where bears hunt. Because of the reduced ecoservcies of the apex predator guild, human induced irrupted numbers of ungulates have seriously altered N.P.P. functions. Soil has lost capacity to hold moisture and erosion and aquifer declines are growing in Oregon. Desertification further reduces soil health, reducing nutrient flow and increasing plant base declines and albedo concerns. Reduced plant nutrients have contributed to ungulate diseases and patchy population fluxes.
When ecosystems and animals suffer, so do humans. Vulnerability creeps up slowly on ecological and the socioeconomics of communities susceptible to the loss of trophic ecoservices feedback from apex predator suppression and removal. Oregon’s community well-being and transformability are directly connected to the health of the plant community, soil resiliency and threshold limits these apex predators help defend and why they should not longer be managed as pests.
The below map indicates where the worst environmental damage is being done by the cattle industry. In 1915, elk numbered 70,000 across the North West. Now they number over one million and deer are so many that they cannot be counted. Deer are migrating into cities simply because the soil can no longer provide ecological service of nutrients to the plant communities and as a result, the plant communities are growing less nutritious food. These ungulates graze along side the millions of cattle. The soil and vegetation were not designed to sustain so many ungulates, let alone when the apex predators have been killed to extinction or suppressed. All this damage so a small handful of ranchers, trappers, hound hunters, and sports hunters can profit from the unsustainable and environmentally irreplaceable damage of killing animals for fun and profit.
To learn more about Oregon’s amazing apex predators and our ecology, email Oregon Cougar Action Team for a free public or school presentation. OreCat@yahoo.com
What We Do.
Oregon Cougar Action Team is a 501c3 educational foundation dedicated to the preservation of Oregon's cougar, bear and wolves and the ecosystems they sustain. We promote education in our communities. Honest and humane sound science behind the apex predator guild plans and
policy making. We are also strong supporters of M18 and future cougar, bear and wolf protection policies.
The Zuniga Forbes Family Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation Grant awarded to OreCat
Weary after the long battle educating the Legislatures about our cougars and why we must not kill them for sport or with hounds; I was overcome with joy and humbled to receive a grant for Oregon Cougar Action Team from the Zuniga Forbes Family Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation. On the behalf of Oregon Cougar Action Team and all our members, I thank the Zuniga Forbes Family Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation from the very bottom of my heart to the Heavens above. Oregon Cougar Action Team will use this grant to further promote a safe wilderness for Oregonians, their children and our wildlife by protecting our cougar and working to insure ODFW has a better plan to manage our cougar. A plan that is safe, humane, honest and based on sound science! Thank you and forward we go!