Stepping off the Cliff
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commissioners voted unanimously this morning to approve their game agency’s proposed 2013 lion hunting quota of 70 females or 100 total lions. They also authorized the use of hounds for the hunt in Custer State Park and extended a year-round no-limit hunting season for lions outside of the Black Hills. Lions killed outside the Black Hills region of the state will not be considered in the quota count.
The Mountain Lion Foundation fought hard alongside a coalition of conservation groups and local lion activists to stop the madness, but unfortunately our efforts were not sufficient to overcome the mindset of a commission determined to extirpate the species as their forefathers did one hundred years ago.
The South Dakota Game Commission is one of the most egregious examples of state game commissions setting high lion hunting quotas in spite of compelling scientific facts that lion populations will be harmed or destroyed. Commissioners have repeatedly ignored the advice of even their own staff biologists and have excused their actions by finding “testimony from hunters and landowners too compelling to ignore.”