Nebraska’s longest-serving senator vows to outlaw mountain lion hunting.
Nebraska’s longest-serving senator is threatening to stop mountain lion hunting for good. And it looks like he’ll do whatever it takes.
Mountain lions are native to Nebraska, yet the population dwindled in the late 1800s when they were eradicated from ranching areas.
Chambers, a long-time animal rights advocate said, “Wildlife is a resource for everyone in this state, not just hunters and people who want to see one through a rifle scope,” and “I’m not going to try to change your mind, but I’m letting you know — be ready for whatever happens, we will be talking about mountain lions all session.”
Senator Chambers also said that the state’s mountain lion population is so small that there is no need for a hunting season and that he objects to using dogs to chase mountain lions up trees.
Chamber’s bill is being met with opposition from several groups. The Game and Parks Commission opposes the bill and wants to retain the authority to manage the mountain lion population through hunting.
Hunting groups have testified against the bill and a spokesperson from Cabelas said, “The decision should be made on a scientific basis, not a political basis.”
This is not the first time Chambers introduced legislation to ban mountain lion hunting. Last year, a bill submitted by Chambers was vetoed by Dave Heineman, the former governor. When attempts to override the veto failed, Chambers attached the bill to every piece of legislation pending a vote on the sessions final day.
Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala, the committee chairman does not support the bill and is willing to support state funding for research into ways to control the population. He also said lawmakers should rely on Game and Parks experts to manage the animals.
Chambers said he will outlaw mountain lion hunting even if he has to circumvent a legislative committee to bring it to a vote. He said that if his bill doesn’t get presented for a vote he’ll try to pull it out using procedural motions. If that fails, he says he will attach it as an amendment to other bills.