In the Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve of Baja California Sur, Mexico, ranching communities have an historical relationship with puma (Puma concolor) that is marked by conflict and persecution. Killing puma in retaliation for livestock attacks is a human-wildlife conflict that is common in rural areas where livestock production is the main source of household income, and presents a challenge to large carnivore conservation. Although pumas were hunted nearly to extinction in the Reserve, there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that the population has begun to rebound. This may signal future human-puma conflict and the need to develop management strategies for both puma conservation and the support of local economic and social interests. The primary aim of this study is to provide an overview of the attitudes and perceptions of local communities regarding puma presence in order to elucidate ranchers' needs in regard to the conservation of this large predator. This study is an exploratory anthropological assessment using quantitative methodology (questionnaires), the results of which are contextualized by qualitative data (interviews). Eighty-four percent of questionnaire respondents had a high or very high level of experience with puma. Combined attitude scores were neutral to slightly positive and there was a weakly significant negative correlation between isolation (minutes of travel to nearest population center) and attitude. Qualitative analysis suggested that ranchers are very concerned about issues affecting personal safety (e.g., puma attacks on humans due to rabies) and threats to livestock. Results also suggested the need for relationship building between Reserve managers and ranchers, and ranchers' desire to retain autonomy. Reserve managers can use the results of this study to develop a puma management plan that is socially appropriate and acceptable, and therefore more likely to succeed.