WWMT has an interesting video on the question of whether or not there is a breeding population of cougars here in Michigan. The video shows some clips from amateurs of cougars in fields and other locales. A group is looking for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to recognize that there is a breeding population of cougars. The group, Michigan Citizens for Cougar Recognition, is trying to get the cougar population recognized in order to put the liability for property damage (death of farm animals, etc.) on either the county (if it is a pack of dogs for instance) or the DNR (if it is indeed cougars or coyotes).
Until the cougar is recognized by the DNR the various counties in Michigan are stuck with the bill for property damage. So, like most things in life, this is pretty much about MONEY. Go figure.
There was a blurb at the end about how the main thing that everyone wants is public safety and protection of the cougars. While I am sure that is true it seems the thing that is really driving this is money. The counties don't want to foot the bill and the DNR doesn't want to foot the bill in addition to having another animal population to manage.
Watch the video at the WWMT website. It is about 2.5 minutes long. Seeing images of cougars out in the wild here in Michigan is quite interesting.