My Other Car Is a Train: Riding the Rails Is the Green Way to Go
People for Bikes: Funding for Devil's Slide Park?

Hill's Bills: SB 132 Protects Mountain Lions

State Senate Bill 132, a mountain lion public safety bill introduced by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo/Santa Clara), takes effect New Year’s Day 2014. The legislation authorizes the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) to use only nonlethal procedures when responding to reports of mountain lions near residences when the wild cats do not involve an imminent threat to human life. It also authorizes the department to partner with wildlife groups and nonprofits to resolve these situations.
Senator Hill introduced SB 132 after two mountain lion cubs were fatally shot on December 1, 2012, in Half Moon Bay. State game wardens and San Mateo County sheriff’s deputies were unable to shoo the cubs from the neighborhood to nearby Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park, and regulations did not permit officers to pursue other options.
Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) officials initially said the female siblings weighed 25 to 30 pounds. But necropsies showed they were only about 4 months old, weighed 13 to 14 pounds, and were starving and unlikely to survive in the wild without their mother.

The incident in Half Moon Bay and another mountain lion shooting in Redwood City in 2011 were unfortunate examples of the lack of flexibility in regulations pertaining to DFW’s response when mountain lions venture into populated areas
SB 132, signed by Governor Brown on September 6, provides DFW with additional resources to deal with wayward mountain lions. Coauthored by Assemblymen Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park) and Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco), the bill also requires that nonlethal procedures be used when DFW responds to a mountain lion that has not been designated as an imminent threat to public health or safety.

Among the options included in “nonlethal procedures” are capturing, pursuing, anesthetizing, marking, transporting, hazing, releasing, providing veterinary care to, and rehabilitating mountain lions.
“SB 132 strikes the right balance when protecting humans and wildlife,” Hill says. “Wardens still have the ability to kill mountain lions when the public is at risk. But this legislation gives wardens the flexibility and resources to better deal with the increasing number of mountain lion encounters throughout the state.”
Hill’s legislation allows DFW to partner with wildlife rescue and rehabilitation groups, veterinarians, zoos, colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations throughout the state that have the capability and experience to assist with mountain lion incidents.

Peninsula Humane Society, for example, rescues and rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife. Last year, the organization saved 1,450 wild animals in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Count me in. The hill behind us (Cattle Hill) has provided us views of bobcats and an occasional mountain lion sunning itself on a rock outcropping. Our neighborhood was never in danger and none of us ever thought of calling the police/animal control or any other government office, because we enjoy the company of these amazing animals. We are, after all, living in their habitat, and don't want to be a part of the Keystone Cop frenzy that a report would unleash on our quiet little corner, which would be a thousand times more damaging than simply letting the mountain lions we've seen be hunted and killed with taxpayer money. Ugh.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)