Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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Letters to the Editor: 09/01/2018

Letters to the Editor Sept. 1, 2018

School's in - drive carefully

Dear Editor,

The other day, I was reminded that it is back to school time when a young man on a bike raced out in front of me at Clyde and Randolph heading towards Shaw, not stopping at the stop sign. I was coming from the school, and luckily driving slow and slowing down more to turn. I still had to hit my brakes hard. He looked at me and apologized. I looked at him and gave him an “Oh my goodness” look. I am sure it scared him, too.

The landscape grows out from the yards, and kept this guy a secret, until he burst forth. I often encounter drivers while walking or driving through the village that are in a BIG hurry to get somewhere. If I had been going faster or not paying attention the outcome might have been different.

So let's all remember to watch out for kids in the village, and remind your kids to stop and look before darting across the street.

It will add years to all of our lives.

Kathy Kimpel

Pass laws to protect mountain lions

Dear Editor,

I live in Glen Ellen because it's rich with nature, including wild animals such as mountain lions. I'm writing because I saw an article headlining the most recent Kenwood Press about a young female mountain lion that was killed by a depredation permit in July for killing (a goat). This was one of the famous triplets in our area that was born last year, survived the fires, and sadly died for doing what is natural - hunting prey.

As a whole, our planet is suffering immensely by climate change and loss of habitat with dozens of species going extinct every single day. Wild animals, especially large predators, are already very marginalized with very little habitat. Our area provides some much-needed habitat for mountain lions to survive yet it is legal to kill these beautiful animals for preying on farm animals. This will not stop, unless people protect their animals, such as putting them in a barn at night. There are also non-lethal means of scaring off or keeping away predators from their farm animals. These lions were in Sonoma County before humans moved in, and then their population dwindled to what it is now.

The laws dealing with wildlife in Sonoma County are outdated, and need to be updated to fit with our ever-changing planet. We don't live on the same planet as those that inhabited it in the 1800s or early 1900s. Human population has increased at an astronomical rate since the industrial revolution, along with widespread habitat degradation and species loss. Many scientists believe we are in the middle of a sixth mass extinction, primarily caused by human activity. There are species going extinct somewhere in the world as you read this. Humans have already killed off most of the large predators and have significantly decreased the populations of the last remaining predators, including mountain lions.

If we continue at the rate we are going now, we will continue to kill off everything on the planet, including ourselves. The article mentioned that the mountain lions in Santa Monica and the Santa Ana mountains are much more protected by a law enacted by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. This is a three strikes policy, and ensures that farm owners do everything they can to protect their farm animals from wild animals, as well as use non-lethal means if necessary before they will issue a depredation permit.

So, please consider the three strikes policy. It is very much needed in our area. The genetic diversity of these mountain lions is low, and there are not many left. Their potential for surviving years in the future is poor with the laws in place now. Please do everything you can to help the wildlife in our area, especially mountain lions, by contacting your local representatives and asking for laws to protect them. It is not too late to save Sonoma County's magnificent mountain lions, if we work together to protect them.

Charesa Harper
Glen Ellen

Overhaul law on depredation permits

Dear Editor,

Well, some time has passed since I first started to hear through the grapevine about the killing of another of our local lions, then yes, it was confirmed by the Kenwood Press, the Press Democrat and then a very well-done piece on the Aug. 17 ABC7 newscast. I've read several fine letters written by thoughtful residents in both newspapers. Mine will be more straightforward: How dare the person/people who failed to protect their sentient livestock, kill this big cat? Or did you leave that unsavory job to someone else to live with? And how dare the state of California issue these permits in my and others' name, without a thorough investigation into whether or not the livestock owner had taken reasonable steps in protecting their animals. Who's really to blame for this goat (or the sheep from last December) being taken by the apex predator in our state? I'm with Quinton Martins, we need a complete overhaul of the current depredation policy.

And I will end with this suggestion. Make a donation to the ACR Living With Lions project Quinton runs. Even better, make it a monthly recurring donation in honor of P2 and P6.

Let's all do better and fight for the lives of all our lions, including P1's new kittens born just weeks ago.

Jane Mathewson
Glen Ellen

Killing mountain lions doesn't work

Dear Editor,

One of the joys of living in Sonoma County is experiencing the great diversity of wildlife that we have. We should never take that for granted. It was with great sadness that I read that the lives of two collared lions were taken with depredation permits; one (P2) for killing two sheep, and the other (P6) for killing a goat. It seems many people don't recognize the value of all wildlife to our ecosystem. Each has a role and everything is connected, and when we remove a lion, it leaves a void that is hard to fill or results in a serious disturbance to the system afterwards.

It is important to remember that it is we humans who have encroached on wildlife territory, not the opposite. If we have something of value such as pets and livestock, then it is our responsibility to protect it. Like humans, lions need to eat on a regular basis, but unlike humans they cannot go to a grocery store. How is a lion to know that it is OK to kill a deer but not a goat, unless we let them know, by protecting our animals?

I empathize with the owners who lost their animals to the lions. It must be terrible. Many people grieve for the lions as well. I feel a loss, having followed the life of P6 since the day she was born. As a longtime wildlife rehabilitator, I know that killing the offending animal is not the solution to human-wildlife conflicts. It only opens a vacancy and the problem will occur over and over again until the attractant is removed - in this case, being responsible about protecting domestic animals.

Sharon Ponsford
Santa Rosa

No more shooting mountain lions

Dear Editor,

With disbelief and mounting disgust I read your last issue's report of a young mountain lion that was “taken under a depredation permit” issued by the state. My first reaction was, “What is a depredation permit?” and second, “Why is it being issued in Kenwood of all places?” In the interest of transparency, I don't believe in depredation, which is defined as “an act of attacking or plundering.” Any species that is endangered or even semi-endangered should be protected. We see this going back and forth with wolves and, right now in fact, there will be a court battle this week in Missoula, Montana, to protect the Yellowstone grizzly bear from being delisted as an endangered species. The state of Wyoming has scheduled a grizzly bear trophy hunt of all things, to begin Saturday, Sept. 1.

This is wrong, folks. This is California... Sonoma County. To use a trite phrase, we're better than this. I haven't lived here as long as probably most of you reading this, but I've been here long enough to recognize that this is a special place. Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I realize that there are bears and lions and bobcats roaming around in Sugarloaf just a few miles up the hill. And I've also been here long enough to understand that the large land owners with the so called “gentlemen ranches” are well off enough to take the hit if they lose a goat or two, or have to spend the extra dime to protect their pets and livestock.

So let's do the right thing here. No more shooting mountain lions... particularly those with collars for God's sake.

Larry Caldwell

Golf courses a plus for Oakmont

Dear Editor,

I am very much opposed to the way the Oakmont Village Association board has handled the Oakmont Golf Club situation.

We were promised complete transparency by Mr. Spanier when he was running for president, and we've gotten pretty much the opposite. That being said, with Tiger playing strongly again, and with pro golf tournament contenders mostly in their mid-20s, the prospect of golf attracting more young players is stronger than it's been for a while. And we have the wonderful assets of 36 holes of golf here in Oakmont.

I do not believe that anyone in Oakmont cannot afford 17 cents a day to keep two of our most valuable showcases alive. The water company, the Press Democrat, Recology, PG&E et al, raise their rates annually a lot more than 17 cents. ($5 monthly).

The small group of almost daily doom and gloomers have bombarded us with a few facts and mostly unfounded fear. I don't care about golf courses in Tucson... I care about the possibility of destroying a big, big draw for 55+ retirees.

Even if you do not play golf, stop into the Quail Inn and look down the magnificent Hole 18 of the West Course. What a view! Naysayers who say the golf courses do not add anything to life in Oakmont are dead wrong. At 17 cents a day, these courses are irreplaceable jewels. Urge OVA to openly negotiate with the OGC and at least explain to all of us why the money is needed. 17 cents a day for irreplaceable beauty? Hell, Yes.

Steve Edwards

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