PRARIE DOG MGMNT REPEAL BILL GETS COMMITTEE HEARING

Posted 7 months ago

By John Axtell

prairie dog-1A two-year old law that gives Nebraska counties the power to manage black-tailed prairie dog populations has drawn the ire of Sen. Ernie Chambers, whose bill to repeal the law got a hearing before the Unicameral’s Agriculture Committee on Tuesday.

Chambers told the panel he would have fought to block the law had he been in the Legislature when it passed in 2012…midway through the four years that Chambers, the state’s longest-serving senator, was forced out of office by term limits.

The law allows counties to launch prairie-dog management programs, with the power to go onto a private landowner’s property to eradicate the animals if they stray onto someone else’s land.

Ranchers view them as pests that can threaten cattle, but Chambers says prairie dogs are native to the area, while cattle are the invasive species.