(Neb)-NGPC To Hold Hearing, Vote Friday On Mountain Lion Season
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is expected to decide this Friday whether to hold a mountain lion hunting season in the Pine Ridge next year.
The agency held a series of 4 public information and input meetings on the proposal this spring, and has scheduled a public hearing during its regular meeting Friday at Mid-Plains Community College in Ogallala. A vote by the commissioners will follow the hearing.
The proposal divides northwest Nebraska into 2 sub-units, one north of Highway 20 and one south of the highway, each with a harvest limit of either 4 total mountain lions or 2 females - the season ending immediately in a sub-unit when 2 female lions there are killed.
Each sub-unit would have 320 permits distributed by a drawing for a season to run from January 1st to February 28th. If the season limits aren't met by then, there would be a second season running March 15-31 with 1 permit for each animal under the limit. Permits would be awardded to hunters not drawn earlier.
Baiting and trapping would be banned in both seasons with the use of dogs banned in the early season, but allowed in the short season.
Game and Parks biologists say it would reduce the population density of the big cats in the Pine Ridge to the level of those in other states with hunting seasons, keeping a resilient, healthy, and socially acceptable population in balance over time with habitat and other wildlife species.
The June 22nd commission meeting will also discuss fees for park activities at Louisville State Recreation Area and Platte River State Park, hear reports on environmental issues in Lake McConaughy, and take input on the state's threatened or endangered species lists.
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