March 5, 2014
State-Based Wildlife Management Threatened in Nebraska
MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation opposes a legislative effort in Nebraska seeking to ban the hunting of mountain lions.
“This is a dangerous road to go down,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “In effect, this bill takes the responsibilities of science-based wildlife management out of the hands of the wildlife professionals and puts them in the hands of politicians.”
In 1995, Nebraska added mountain lions to the state game list as a means to manage the steadily growing population. In 2012, the state legislature legalized mountain lion hunting because population levels expanded enough to sustain a limited harvest using a controlled quota system. Wildlife managers then instituted that limited permit hunting opportunity in the Pine Ridge and Niobrara River Valley as well as the Wildcat Hills for 2014.
“We’re trying to manage wildlife for all citizens of the state. That’s our charge,” said Tim McCoy, deputy director of Nebraska Game and Parks. “And we have to do that in a balanced way.”
“If this bill becomes law it will allow the anti-hunting political efforts of a few to supersede the science-based wildlife management approach that led to the successful restoration of mountain lions, elk, deer, turkeys and many other wildlife species in Nebraska and across the nation,” added Allen.