Are Californians braver, smarter, more mature, and more tolerant than Easterners? Apparently so, if you believe Peter Nye’s argument against bringing cougars back to the Adirondacks [“It’s Debatable,” January/February 2015].
As a Californian (since 1976) and an Adirondacker (a camp on Piseco Lake, and a family history in the Adirondacks from the 1700s), I have a unique perspective on this silly (and never-ending) debate.
Here, within the city of Los Angeles, we have a lovely permanent cougar population. A big, beautiful male lives under the “Hollywood” sign. We hardly notice. Cougars are great at staying away from people, so much so that here, in the middle of the nation’s second-biggest city, their presence is not a problem—it’s just one more reason why it’s great to live here.
We have many residential communities that butt right up against cougar-populated mountains, and approximately zero problems with interactions between cougars and people. When I go hiking or mountain biking in the Santa Monica Mountains, I am well aware that cougars are around—and grateful that people here are awed and inspired by their presence.
Given a chance, the people of the Adirondacks would love having their own cougars in the woods.
Dexter Ford, Piseco, NY
CHARLES SPINDEL says
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE DNA OF THESE ANIMALS MUTATES AND THEY LOSE THERE FEAR OF PEOPLE (AS THEY ARE DOING NOW)- AND THEN START KILLING OR MAULING CHILDREN
HOW MANY FIVE YEAR OLD WILL HAVE TO DIE OR BE MAULED BEFORE YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND– HOW ABOUT IF IT WERE YOUR FIVE YEAR OLD? WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO SACRIFICE YOUR CHILD?
CHARLES SPINDEL PROFESSOR