Opponents Try to Derail Mountain Lion Bill

Mountain Lion
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A proposal to eliminate Nebraska's mountain lion hunting season has hit a snag in the Legislature.

Opponents mounted a filibuster on Thursday to try to block the legislation before lawmakers could grant final approval.

"We just set a policy that would allow Game and Parks to use hunting as one of its tools to manage the cougar population. And there's no reason to reverse that course now," said Senator Scott Lautenbaugh, who introduced the amendment.

The bill has already advanced through two previous votes. Lawmakers moved on to other measures without voting, but are expected to return to it later.

Sen. Ernie Chambers has said he introduced the bill because the state has a duty to protect mountain lions, which are native to Nebraska, but were virtually wiped out by settlers. Foes of the measure say the Nebraska Game and Parks Commissions should be able to regulate the population.

Lawmakers approved mountain-lion hunting in 2012, while Chambers was out of office due to term limits.