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Commission adopts mountain lion management plan

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission adopted a mountain lion management plan Oct. 20 at its meeting in Omaha.

Mountain lions are an important component of the state’s biodiversity, and the mountain lion management plan is intended to guide management decisions based on the agency’s mission, as well as on the goals and principles stated in the plan.

Following a public hearing, the commission rejected a staff recommendation to change shooting hours for small game, including pheasant, quail, grouse, dove, snipe, rails, woodcock, partridge, rabbits, and squirrels. Shooting hours will remain from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

The commission also approved staff recommendations to:

— Move sport fishing open seasons, daily bag limits, possession limits, length limits and open areas from regulations to orders. The move to orders did not include any changes in seasons, bag and possession limits, or open areas for 2018;

— Acquire approximately 80 acres adjacent to Jack Sinn Wildlife Management Area (WMA);

— Accept the gift of approximately 312 acres in Franklin County that will be designated the Alfon C. Haring WMA;

— Seek a different location to develop an ATV trail system other than the existing study area that is directly south of Lake McConaughy;

— Accept a five-year Land Strategies Plan, which would guide acquisition, disposition and management of public land from 2018-2022;

In other business, the commission heard public comment on the R-Line project in the Sandhills. Staff provided updates on elk and antelope hunting, as well as on Venture Parks projects. There also was an environmental report and a presentation on Omaha-area fisheries projects with the Papio-Missouri Natural Resources District.

In addition, the Nebraska Big Game Conservation Association presented a $10,000 donation to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program, which provides ground venison to Nebraskans in need.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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