SPECIAL NOTE: An earlier version of this editorial mistakenly accused the Nebraska Department of Game and Parks of short changing the public comment period. We apologize for that error.
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On May 24th, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commissions decided to appease a small constituency of lion hunters and fearful rural residents and reject their staff's quota recommendations for Nebraska's first mountain lion hunt since the species was extirpated nearly a century ago. The crowd of twenty or so refused to accept the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's lion population estimate of fewer than twenty lions and demanded a larger hunting quota than the proposed limit of three lions.
On July 26th, the Commission will once again consider creating Nebraska's inaugural mountain lion hunting season based on new recommendations developed by Department staff. The appeasement version replaces the "annual" quota of three lions or one female with four lions or two females in the Pine Ridge Management Unit and unlimited year round hunting in the Prairie Management Unit.
Coupled with the use of hounds, the new proposed regulations are a road map toward once again extirpating mountain lions from the Cornhusker state.
Any reputable biologist will tell you that a population base of "possibly" twenty animals, and only one identified breeding female, is too small to accept additional human induced mortalities. To even consider hunting such a tiny grouping of animals flies in the face of all logic. Consider for a moment that as Federal taxpayers Americans have now spent millions of dollars over more than thirty years to protect Florida's struggling population of only 100 to 160 lions. Why should Nebraska's returning lions deserve less?
Help MLF protect this precious population. Send a brief letter to (or call) the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and tell them that Nebraska's lion population needs to be protected: NOT HUNTED!
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
2200 N. 33rd St. Lincoln, NE 68503
Email comments can be sent to the Commission care of: firstname.lastname@example.org
For those activists that wish to testify in person on July 26, 2013; the meeting will begin at 8 a.m. in the third-floor conference room of Game and Parks headquarters, 2200 N. 33rd Street, Lincoln, Nebraska
Click here to download the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's new proposed mountain lion hunting regulations.