The bill, LB 671 sponsored by Senator Ernie Chambers (D-Omaha), would ban mountain lion hunting, threatening not only livestock but public safety also. Senator Chambers has also announced his intentions to oppose every proposal of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission until the mountain lion season is abolished.
In 1995, Nebraska added mountain lions to the state’s game list in order to protect the steadily growing population. Over the past 20 years, the population levels have risen enough to sustain a limited harvest using a controlled quota system. In 2013, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission established its first ever mountain lion season which commenced this month.
“Despite a growing population and the need for management, animal rights and anti-hunting activists don’t want to let the professional wildlife managers do their job,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA’s president and CEO. “Somehow they are of the mistaken belief that they know how to better manage Nebraska’s wildlife populations from their offices in Washington D.C.”
The bill also poses a threat to public safety. Under current law, an individual is allowed to defend themselves or another person if “a mountain lion stalks, attacks, or shows unprovoked aggression.” LB 671 not only deletes this protection for humans—but also prohibits farmers and ranchers from protecting their livestock.
“This bill is bad for wildlife management and its bad for public safety,” said Pinizzotto. “Our system of wildlife management is based upon sound science, executed by wildlife professionals—and should not be subject to political pressure such as this.”
Photo by: Lil Rose, Flickr Creative Commons