Reaction Mixed to Nebraska Mountain Lion Hunting Bill

Mountain Lion
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A bill that would repeal Nebraska's mountain lion hunting drew mixed responses at a legislative hearing.

Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha introduced the bill, which was heard by the Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday.

Mountain lions are native to Nebraska, but vanished in the late 1800s after settlers started poisoning and hunting them. Officials estimate that 22 live in the Pine Ridge area.

Supporters of the bill expressed fear that mountain lion could be eradicated. Opponents say the the Game and Parks Commission should be able to have the tools to manage the mountain lion population.

In 2012, the Legislature passed a law that allowed the Games and Parks Commission to issue mountain lion hunting permits.