Game and Fish respond to questions about bighorn, lion deaths – Game and Fish answer some questions about the reintroduction – worth reading, largely very reasonable and well answered. Game and Fish claims that “Research shows that Tucsonans support having bighorn sheep in the Catalinas.” – I assume they are referring to the same supporting sources from the 2011 Restoration Proposal:
The public has been supportive of bighorn sheep restoration and has placed significant value on the presence of bighorn sheep in the Catalinas as a natural component of this ecosystem. This is supported by Purdy (1981), Burgarsky (1986), Harris et al. (1995), and Devers (1999).
It would be interesting to look more closely at these sources to understand if that is a reasonable claim – although even the most recent source (1999 – Public Attitudes, Wildlife, and Recreation Management in Pusch Ridge Wilderness, Arizona, by Patrick Kevin Devers) is not only over a decade old but also right on the edge of the ‘late 1990s’ date for the Big Horn Sheep’s disappearance from the range.