Mountain Lion Protection Laws Pressuring Gov. Newsom’s Office

Mountain lions are constantly in the news in California. Now the mountain lion issue has arrived at the doorstep of Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose father William helped pass through mountain lion protection regulations that have become contentious. Here’s the Sacramento Bee with more: 

It’s clear the mountain lion initiative from June 1990 is weighing on his mind. Speaking with reporters in Sacramento on Wednesday, Newsom lamented that the initiative known as Proposition 117 has tied his hands when it comes to his wildlife agency issuing permits to kill cougars after they attack livestock.

“We can’t do it,” Newsom said of requests he’s received to ban the lethal cougar permits altogether. “I remember licking envelopes as a child, supporting 117. Explicitly, 117 affords the right for someone to take one of those permits out. Candidly, that’s frustrating to me.”

William Newsom, who died in 2018, was a state appeals court judge and administrator of the Getty oil family trust. He also was a founding board member of the Mountain Lion Foundation. While Newsom was on the board, the Sacramento-based group advocated for the 1990 ballot initiative. The law became a blueprint that animal-welfare groups have used to push for close to 40 successful statewide ballot measures targeting controversial hunting and livestock practices across the U.S.

It’s clear that Newsom’s father was a champion of conservation.