The Cougar Fund
was founded in 2001
by writer Cara Blessley Lowe
and photographer Tom Mangelsen
after a first-hand experience observing a mother lion and her three cubs on the National Elk Refuge
in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
. Frequent collaborators, Blessley Lowe and Mangelsen produced a book called Spirit of the Rockies: The Mountain Lions of Jackson Hole
and a subsequent documentary short film on the historical event. These two pieces went on to garner major national media attention, broadly publicizing the principal issues facing cougars at the dawn of the 21st century: lack of scientific data on cougar populations within state game agencies, inadequate regulations on protection for female cougars and their dependent young, and a dwindling natural habitat further fragmented by human development.
The Cougar Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization based in Jackson, Wyoming, concerned with protecting the cougar throughout the Americas. The Cougar Fund educates the public on the value of cougars in nature and promotes the gathering and application of sound science in their management. By advocating thriving populations of cougars, The Cougar Fund ensures that these beautiful, legendary creatures—known for their grace, independence and incorruptibly wild nature—may exist in ways that enjoy long-lasting public support.
Important to The Cougar Fund is an ethic of collaborative efforts in approaching predator conservation and management. There is room for all stakeholders to participate in The Cougar Fund and its membership base includes hunters and non-hunters alike.
Board of Directors
The directors of the fund, as of March, 2008
- Thomas D. Mangelsen, Co-Founder;
- Cara Blessley Lowe, President & Co-Founder;
- Corinne E. Rutledge;
- H. Webb Blessley, Treasurer;
- Dr. Marc Beckoff;
- Howard W. Buffett;
- Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE;
- Dr. Rick Hopkins, Secretary;
- Bob Smith.
- John E. Swallow