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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Gualala Arts Lecture Series presents:
Tracking Mountain Lions

with Matt Nelson
Thursday, May 16, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
Admission is $5

In recent years local residents have noted more frequent sightings of mountain lions along the Mendonoma coast, so Matt Nelson's Thursday, May 16 talk on this fabled feline might not only be entertaining, it may also provide information that can come in handy when walking on local trails. Nelson will present some interesting findings he has uncovered and share his insights into the behavior of this animal.

Mountain Lion A native of Annapolis, Nelson graduated from Point Arena High School. From an early age he has honed his outdoor skills by chasing blacktail deer and wild boar or fishing for salmon and steelhead in nearby waters. He has turned this interest into a business called Redwood Coast Animal Tracking.

Funded by grants from a variety of sources including private Colorado ranchers, UC Davis programs and the National Science Foundation, Nelson participated last year in the Garfield Mesa Lion Project, an extensive study of the impact mountain lions have on the entire ecosystem. He will share the surprising results of that study, which showed the interdependence of a wider variety of wildlife than anyone expected.

Nelson will also discuss the habits of the mountain lion and has given some thought to why sightings seem more prevalent in recent years. He attributes the upsurge to factors such as population growth and human encroachment on wildcat territory. But he thinks many encounters are not with enfeebled older cats looking for easy prey, but with curious juveniles not yet wary of people.

Not only is Nelson an accomplished tracker, he has honed his wilderness skills by living at the Teaching Drum Outdoor School in Wisconsin for two and a half years. He holds a Cybertracker Track and Sign Specialist certificate and a Trailing 3 certificate.

He plans to illustrate his talk with a video presentation and will allow time for questions from the audience. The lecture starts at 7:00 p.m. in Coleman Auditorium. A $5 admission will be collected at the door.

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.