Chris Spatz, Presidentof the Cougar Rewilding Foundation
7:00 pm Wednesday: April 12, 2017
Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick
Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s (FOMB) seventh presentation of their 20th annual Winter Speaker Series; Cougar Recovery in Eastern North America, features Chris Spatz, Presidentof the Cougar Rewilding Foundation. The event, takes place at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Wednesday April 12th at 7pm.
The search for our once prolific eastern cougar is one of the great riddles in North American natural history. Despite thousands of sightings from Maine to Mississippi, only a dozen confirmations have emerged, east of Chicago during the past generation. The Cougar Rewilding Foundation (CRF) facilitates cougar recovery in suitable wild habitat east of the Rocky Mountains. The non-profit foundation has conducted remote camera surveys in seven eastern states, investigated years of field evidence and cougar reports, and is featured in the book, Heart of a Lion, tracking the South Dakota cat that trekked to Connecticut seeking a mate. CRF promotes recovery of cougar breeding populations through natural recolonization and mandated restorations to the central, southeastern and eastern United States and, advocates for responsible management in habitat where cougars are recovering. The foundation believes in full legal protection of all cougars living wild east of the Rockies, regardless of origin.
Chris Spatz is a former psychiatric social worker and a director of the Gunks Climbers' Coalition as well as President of the Cougar Rewilding Foundation. He writes and lectures about the natural history of the Catskill Mountains and the Shawangunk Ridge where he lives in southern New York State, and where he caught the spell of the fabled eastern cougar. Spatz has run remote camera surveys at High Point State Park, NJ and in the Shawangunks of New York at Minnewaska State Park and the Mohonk Preserve. Reviewing his surve
y findings of cougar biology, behavior and their current range, Chris will explain why cougar sightings don’t produce evidence, and how restorations of this magnificent predator are imperative for the recovery of critically declining eastern forests. Chris says “I was a bartender, former clinical social worker with a MSW, English major undergrad. It would have been biology, but I sucked at math. Now, I'm a kind of volunteer social worker for pumas, bringing back the legend!”
FOMB hosts their Winter Speaker Series October-May, the second Wednesday of each month. The May 10th presentation, Dragonflies & Damselflies in Maine features ecologist and zoologist Dr. Ron Butler from U. Maine, Farmington.This 7pm presentation will be at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick. Speaker Series presentations are free, open to the public and supported by Patagonia, Inc. in Freeport. Visit www.fomb.org to see speaker biographies, full event schedules, become a member, and learn more about how you can help protect beautiful Merrymeeting Bay.