Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has vetoed a bill that would have banned mountain lion hunting in Nebraska. The measure, LB 671, sought to remove the authority of the state's wildlife management professionals in favor of legislative ban on mountain lion hunting.
“Nebraskans expect responsible wildlife management. LB 671 eliminates an important tool used to accomplish it,” Gov Heineman stated. “The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission should retain the ability to determine those management actions which are necessary to protect both the health and safety of our citizens and the wildlife in our state. Removing the agency's authority to manage mountain lions through hunting at this time is poor public policy."
The bill will now be returned to the legislature where they would need 30 yes votes to override the Governor's veto.
"Our system of wildlife management is designed to remove political influence and allow wildlife management professionals to do their jobs," said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA's president and CEO. "We're extremely proud of Gov. Heineman for standing up to protect sportsmen. This action speaks volumes about his view of hunting and scientific wildlife management. Nebraska sportsmen should call Gov. Heineman today and thank him for this stance."
On Monday, March 24, the Nebraska legislature passed the bill that removes the authority of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to manage the state's growing mountain lion population. The effort to ban Mountain lion hunting is being driven by Sen. Ernie Chambers. Chambers has vowed to oppose every proposal of the state's Game and Parks Commission until the mountain lion season is banned.
Nebraska added mountain lions to the state's list of game animals in 2012 when Gov. Heineman signed LB 928 into law. In 2013, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission took a measured approach designed to maintain, or slightly reduce-the population of mountain lions in the state.