WHO WE ARE
We are a dedicated and diverse group of Utah residents that are interested in mountain lions, their protection, management, and improving our understanding of them. Our work in Utah began in 2017 with the goal of improving social tolerance of mountain lions through the use of community engagement, education, and camera traps. As our work evolved over time, we became involved with other wildlife communities that were concerned about mountain lions, their management, our understanding of them, their portrayal in the media, coexistence challenges, and public perception.
In order to do our best work for mountain lions, collaboration with all wildlife stakeholders is one of our core beliefs. By working with one another on shared goals, we can accomplish more for Utah's mountain lions!
WHAT WE DO
We are proud to be partnering with Brigham Young University and the Division of Wildlife Resources on a cougar study that will initially be focused on prey selection and scavenging behavior. We are also deploying remotely triggered cameras at kill sites to document interactions between mountain lions, as well as other wildlife that may visit a site.
The crucial information gained from this study will help improve our understanding of mountain lions in Utah, as well as improve management decisions in the future.
We are actively out in the field working with volunteers to collect trail camera footage of our wild lions so we can observe their behaviors and catch a glimpse into the every day lives of these secretive cats. Footage from our trail cameras are used in our education programs that are focused on raising awareness and increasing understanding of the nature of mountain lions.
We currently have trail camera in the mountains throughout Northern Utah and are looking to expand our survey areas further south in the near future.
Denise Peterson studied Natural Resources Management, Wildlife Biology, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at Grand Valley State in Allendale, Michigan. She has worked on a wild felid study in the Peruvian Amazon tracking radio-collared ocelots and other wild cats in the area. Her work experience includes the Mountain Lion Foundation, Yellowstone to Uintas Connection, and Voices of Wildlife. She's passionate about mountain lions and their continued existence wherever they are found. You can often find her in the mountains checking trail cams and tracking cats!
Mike Poremba (MikeP@UtahMountainLion.org) was one of those fortunate kids who spent his days roaming the fields and wooded lots of his small N. Illinois town, and summers fishing and hiking in N. Wisconsin, affording him up close glimpses of bald eagles, ospreys, leopard frogs, blue jays, painted & snapping turtles, black bears, and a host of other wildlife. An animal fanatic from the age of 3, while other kids perfected their throwing arms, GPA, or artistic abilities, Mike familiarized himself with the sights & sounds of the great outdoors and the family dogs.
Fast forward 30+ years he was able to realize a dream of becoming a professional dog trainer in wildlife management- training & handling Border collies to herd Canada geese from places people didn't want them, humanely and as naturally as possible. Then a fateful move "out West" connected him with the Mountain Lion Foundation, which put him in touch with UMLC. Today, Mike spends his time hiking, tracking, and studying the western landscapes for anything he can learn from them, and hopes to bring this enthusiasm to the table for UMLC to improve awareness across Utah about mountain lions and other wildlife in general, and to increase education about how easily we really can live side-by-side with these magnificent predators. He volunteers in wildlife rehab and habitat restoration projects in his free time.
As one of the Founders, David Peterson has been involved with Utah Mountain Lion Conservation since its inception. He is responsible for the safety of the team while out in the field, as well as the technical mastermind that maintains and troubleshoots all of the equipment that we rely on in order to do our jobs. He has over 20 years of climbing experience, two degrees in electronics engineering, and is a Navy veteran. He is a firm believer in the power of education, collaboration, and teamwork to achieve our mission of improving social tolerance and understanding of mountain lions throughout Utah.