Claiming that it might be unconstitutional and citing Article XV, Section 25 of the Nebraska Constitution which states that "hunting, fishing, and harvesting of wildlife shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife," as justification for his action, Nebraska Governor, Dave Heineman vetoed Legislative Bill 671 earlier today.
LB 671, introduced by Senator Ernie Chambers (D-Omaha) would have repealed recent legislation which authorized the recreational hunting of mountain lions in Nebraska.
In his letter to the legislature explaining his actions, Governor Heineman said the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission should have the power to manage the mountain lion population for the health and safety of residents, and that "removing the agency's authority to manage mountain lions through hunting at this time is poor public policy."
Legislative bill 671, which originally passed out of the legislature with a 28 to 13 vote, now goes back to the legislature where Senator Chambers will need 30 votes to override the Governor's veto.
There are less than two dozen mountain lions currently residing in Nebraska and despite assurances to the contrary from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, most biologists disagree with that state's decision to hunt such a small lion population.
Nebraska's mountain lion advocates are encouraged to contact their state legislator and demand that they vote to support Senator Chambers and override Governor Heineman's outrageous veto of Legislative Bill 671.
In your letter or telephone call, please point out:
Sport hunting is a terrible way to manage mountain lion populations.
Nebraska's mountain lion population is far too small to withstand a hunting season.
Over hunting eliminated the mountain lion from Nebraska a hundred years ago. We must learn from this mistake and protect the returning cats.
Sport hunting could trigger conditions that lead to more conflicts between the lions, livestock and people.
The majority of residents in Nebraska want a healthy mountain lion population and the best way to achieve this is by stopping the hunt and passing LB 671.