Several residents have reported cougar sightings, or sign of cougars present in the local area.

Corey Heath, Supervising Fish and Wildlife Biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) office in Bend told The Nugget that there have been reports — some direct and many of them second- or third-hand — of cougar presence in the Panoramic subdivision northeast of town, and on both sides of Whychus Creek in the canyonlands to the north of Sisters.

The potential for a problem encounter is always present when cougars are around residential neighborhoods with pets and livestock.

“It’s not desirable, certainly, where they are,” Heath said. “We’ve got signs up letting people know what to do if they encounter one.”

Cougars can be killed if they become a threat. Heath said there is no such ODFW control action imminent.

“We don’t have anything planned at the moment,” he said. “We hope it doesn’t come to that and most sightings don’t rise to that level and the cats just move on on their own. And that’s kind of the outcome everybody is hoping for.”

Heath said that opinions and attitudes toward cougars mixed among residents of Sisters Country — including among those who have them in their neighborhood.

“Some like having them there; they hope to see one; think that it’s their habitat,” he said. “Others want them out of there. So, it’s a balancing act.”