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Large Carnivore ConservationIntegrating Science and Policy in the North American West$
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Susan G. Clark and Murray B. Rutherford

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226107400

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226107547.001.0001

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State-Level Management of a Common Charismatic Predator

State-Level Management of a Common Charismatic Predator

Mountain Lions in the West

Chapter:
(p.29) 2 State-Level Management of a Common Charismatic Predator
Source:
Large Carnivore Conservation
Author(s):

David J. Mattson

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226107547.003.0002

Mountain lions in the western United States are managed primarily as depredators of livestock and competitors for opportunities to sport hunt elk, deer, and bighorn sheep. This utilitarian approach arises from the privileged status of hunters and livestock producers under current configurations of power and finances in state-level wildlife management. However, these traditional arrangements are being increasingly challenged by financial stresses and the growing demands of mostly urban stakeholders who hold non-consumptive worldviews and espouse the intrinsic values of mountain lions. The current paradigms of bureaucratic, scientific, and business governance that have been institutionalized in state wildlife management do a poor job of fostering common ground and civility in the face of increasingly polarizing dynamics. A shift to more equitable, representative, and pragmatic governance is needed to reduce conflict and promote common interest outcomes in mountain lion management. This chapter reviews the history of mountain lion management, explains problematic dynamics, and draws lessons that can be used to improve decision- and policy-making processes.

Keywords:   civility, governance, mountain lions, scientific management, worldviews, conflict management

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