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Nebraska Game and Parks Commission hearing on mountain lions and otter hunting seasons

June 15 @ 12:00 pm

Nebraska Game & Parks June Commission meeting – at the Holiday Inn Express 2605 Plum Creek Parkway Lexington, NE.

June 17 @ 8:30 am5:00 pm

All interested persons may attend and testify orally or by written submission at the public hearing. (June 17th, 2022)

June 15th – Interested persons or organizations may submit written comments prior to the hearing, which will be entered into the hearing record if they: 1) include a request to be included as part of the hearing record; 2) include the name and address of the person or organization submitting the comments; and 3) are received by 1:00 p.m. CT June 15, 2022 by Sheri Henderson at the Lincoln office, 2200 North 33 rd Street, Lincoln, NE 68503-0370.sheri.henderson@nebraska.gov

NE MOUNTAIN LIONS

“Pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. Sections §§37-301, 37-304, 37-308, 37-308.01, 37-314, 37-228, 37-404, 37-405, 37-411, 37-426, 37-452, 37-473, 37-613, a public hearing will be held at 8:45 AM to consider amendments to Title 163, Nebraska Administrative Code Chapter 4, entitled Wildlife Regulations, Section 037 Mountain Lions to make changes to season and auxiliary dates and adjust the number of permits issued during the lottery.”  – Notice of hearing

http://outdoornebraska.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/6-17-22-Public-Hearing-Notice.pdf

Nebraska has 3 areas of population (Pine Ridge, Scotsbluff, Niobrara) and only allows hunting in Pine Ridge Area.  The Pine Ridge ecosystem exists in Wyoming, Nebraska and SD and hunting is allowed in all 3 states with SD and Wyoming allowing unlimited take in Pine Ridge areas and Oglala Sioux Tribe lands allows with 20 lion any sex/10 lion female harvest limit.

The proposed Nebraska changes to cougar hunting season are minor – they are reducing number of licenses to increase hunter satisfaction, some date changes that are proposed that are not significant.  So it is basically the same as last year.  The population estimate for this year (based on date from May-June 2021)  is 33, with 10 adult females, 5 adult males, 4 each for sub adult males and females and 10 kittens. This is very similar to last year (estimate was 34 lions with 22 adult/sub-adults).  Highest estimate was 59 lions in 2017.

Pursuant to research, Washington State had adopted a “harvest” rate of 12% to 16% of adults and sub-adults, as the harvest levels that result in a sustainable population.  The Nebraska’s Pine Ridge cougar habitat is more isolated than Washington State’s and these percentages may need to be lower in Nebraska due to Pine Ridge population’s relative isolation.  12% of 23 lions is 2.76 lions, 14% of 23 lions is 3.22 lions and 16% of 23 lions is 3.68 lions. 

Last year HSUS and MLF objected to the harvest limit and HSUS had an alert. Nebraska  (scroll down for  HSUS webinar and alert of HSUS from last year).

Game & Parks Mountain Lion web page:

https://outdoornebraska.gov/mountainlions/

https://outdoornebraska.gov/mountainlionhunting/

Colin Crofts Facebook on Nebraska Lions

https://www.facebook.com/groups/426003722258026  

Mountain Lion Foundation on Nebraska lions:

https://mountainlion.org/us/nebraska/

Nebraska GP Rule Proposal:

https://www.nebraska.gov/nesos/rules-and-regs/regtrack/proposals/2546.pdf

https://www.nebraska.gov/nesos/rules-and-regs/regtrack/details.cgi?proposal_id=2546

Nebraska GP Existing Regulations

https://www.nebraska.gov/rules-and-regs/regsearch/Rules/Game_and_Parks_Commission/Title-163/Chapter-4.pdf

https://outdoornebraska.gov/regulations/

Nebraska Mountain Lion Management Plan – http://outdoornebraska.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/NE-Mountain-Lion-Management-Plan.pdf

Scroll down for  hyperlinks to old references and webinars/power points. Nancy Hilding (nhilding@rapidnet.com, 605-787-6466) has copies of the powerpoint shown by NEGP staff at Commission meeting in the spring on this issue.

NE RIVER OTTERS

Nebraska Game and Parks, in order to avoid the hassle of rule making, has created a new  rules to allow them to change seasons via “orders” which are not subject to rule making process. In April they proposed to increase otter harvest limit from 75 to 125 on June 17th. Otters were listed as state threatened or endangered and then delisted in 2020. First post delisting hunting season was last year.  Population is estimated at 2000.

Proposed Orders on Furbearer – CO-5

http://outdoornebraska.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/CommOrder5-6-11-21-35-day.pdf

This above link is rather obscure – hard to find.  The Public Notice does not explain, so you have to search out the proposed orders on web site (see above link).

News article about first river otter trapping season (2021)

https://journalstar.com/news/local/nebraskas-first-otter-trapping-season-ends-after-78-animals-snared/article_e627e1a6-e5d7-554e-8e21-da3d6db930bd.html#tncms-source=signup

NGPs website on otters

https://outdoornebraska.gov/riverotter/

Nancy Hilding (nhilding@rapidnet.com, 605-787-6466) has copies of the powerpoint shown by NEGP staff at Commission meeting in the spring on this issue.

 

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SOME OLD OLD OLD 2021 REFERENCES/ALERTS, – population estimates are very similar.

Nebraska’s Sam Wilson 2021 you tube video on last year’s proposal for Mt Lion season

 (YEAR OLD 2021 – not up to date) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wn41qmiUxc0&t=579s

Humane Society of the US Zoom webinar Nebraska Mountain Lions = from last year  spring 2021 (THIS IS A YEAR OLD-not up to date)

Link to recording for that webinar

OLD WEBINAR  ( YEAR OLD 2021 – not up to date) _ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r09jJhTinsI

HSUS- Nebraska mountain lion – talking points for comments ( YEAR OLD 2021 – not up to date)

OLD ALERT –  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1I3xOzBA0SYk3cZvOPPvFsAdGzZUlLmiq/view?usp=sharing

OLD COMMENT LETTER – PHAS Comment letter from 2021

 

Details

Date:
June 15
Time:
12:00 pm