Grand Island Poisoning Starlings
Monday, 22 March 2010 10:39

The city of Grand Island is poisoning hundreds of starlings, hoping to reduce the health threat posed by the bird droppings.

The city is using a toxic chemical that U.S. Department of Agriculture officials say won't affect any other birds or animals or people.

The city began poisoning starlings back in 2005.

Read the full article about starling poisoning from the Lincoln Journal-Star.

Missouri River "Spring Pulse" Cancelled
Monday, 22 March 2010 10:30

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has canceled plans for a "spring pulse" of water into the Missouri River next week, fearing the pulse could worsen flooding along the river.

The pulses are thought to help river habitat for the endangered pallid sturgeon.  A spring pulse is meant to replicate what once was a natural occurrence when melting snow increased the river flow.

The Corps' Omaha office said Friday that the snowmelt in eastern South Dakota, eastern Nebraska and western Iowa has raised river levels well above flooding safeguard limits.

Read the full article about the Corps' Missouri River "spring pulse" plans from the Omaha World-Herald.

NGPC Aims to Reduce Deer Population
Monday, 22 March 2010 10:18

Whitetail bucks have to worry when hunting season rolls around.

While that's still the case, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission wants to create high anxiety for antlerless deer, too.

Game and Parks approved an assortment of hunting seasons Friday with the goal of killing 42,000 whitetail does in 2010. Because females often give birth to twins or triplets, reducing the overall population requires increasing the doe harvest.

Read more about the approved deer hunting season changes from the Lincoln Journal-Star.

Spring Turkey Archery Season Set to Open
Monday, 22 March 2010 09:50

Nebraska's spring turkey archery season opens Thursday.

New features this year include $5 youth permits for residents and nonresidents; hunters may hunt in the archery and shotgun seasons under the authority of a spring permit; restrictions on the draw weight of archery equipment have been lifted; and limited landowner permit eligibility requirements loosened.

Wild turkeys are found in every Nebraska county.

The youth shotgun season begins April 10. Shotgun season for adults begins April 17. Archery and shotgun seasons end May 31.

Hunting Radius Adjusted in Deer Control Bill
Monday, 22 March 2010 09:43

Senators gave select file approval March 17 to a bill that would provide additional opportunities for citizens to hunt deer.

LB836, introduced by Omaha Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh, would authorize the state Game and Parks Commission to extend existing deer hunting seasons. In addition, the one-deer-per-permit rule applied to permits issued for special deer depredation seasons would be removed and the commission would be given the authority to determine the deer species to be hunted and bag limits of depredation seasons or extensions.

The bill also would provide for an unlimited number of free permits for antlerless deer to be issued to any person owning or operating at least 20 acres of farm or ranch land within the geographic area specified by the commission for the season. Immediate family of the aforementioned landowners or operators would be offered permits as well.

All revenues from the sale of special depredation season permits would be used for the abatement of damage caused by deer.

The bill would permit hunting within a 100-yard radius of an inhabited dwelling or livestock feedlot. The current restriction is 200 yards. Select file debate focused on this provision. Three amendments were introduced to adjust the radius in which hunting is prohibited.

Learn more about the deer hunting radius topic from the Unicameral Update.

Wind Energy Export Bill Advances
Monday, 22 March 2010 09:39

A bill advanced by the Legislature March 17 would facilitate the development of private renewable energy facilities that export their energy out of state.

LB1048, introduced by the Natural Resources Committee, would provide a process for the Nebraska Power Review Board to approve certified renewable export facilities.

Committee chairperson Sen. Chris Langemeier of Schuyler said the bill would encourage private development and establish a path for the exportation of renewable energy without affecting public power and ratepayers.

“Today is truly a historic day for wind energy in Nebraska,” he said.

Read the full article about the wind energy export bill from the Unicameral Update.

Restrictions on Eminent Domain for Rec Trails Advanced
Wednesday, 17 March 2010 10:11

Natural resources districts no longer would have absolute authority to use eminent domain for the acquisition of land for recreational trails under a bill receiving first-round approval March 15.

LB1010, introduced by Louisville Sen. Dave Pankonin, would create a process NRDs must follow before eminent domain may be used to take private land for a recreational trail or corridor.

Full details about LB1010 eminent domain procedures are available from the Unicameral Update.

Forsberg, NET Television Among Conservation Award Winners
Wednesday, 17 March 2010 05:56

2010 Awards


Cranes will be on center stage in central Nebraska again this Friday, but in this case, as the subject of world-class photography.  Nebraska-based wildlife and nature photographer Michael Forsberg is among the honorees at the Nebraska Bird Partnership’s 5th Annual Awards Ceremony on Friday, March 19, at 12 p.m. The ceremony, which recognizes the conservation accomplishments of 2010 award winners, will be held at the Holiday Inn in Kearney.

Forsberg will receive the Chairman's Award from current Bird Partnership Chairman Ritch Nelson of the Natural Resources Conservation Service.  "I am proud to select Michael Forsberg for this award.  His photos have inspired countless Nebraskans to want to conserve our wildlife and natural landscapes for future generations."

NET Television will be honored for work on Project BEAK, an interactive, web-based curriculum targeting Nebraska students in the 5th-8th grade.
The website, www.projectbeak.org, contains information and activities about Nebraska birds, conservation, adaptations, and bird watching, and classroom lesson plans for teachers.

According to Project leader Jeanine Lackey, "When NETV started working on the project, it blossomed into an amazing, interactive, and colorful website.  NETV staff worked diligently because they felt that Project BEAK was exciting, fulfilling, and an important outlet through which a bird conservation and appreciation message could be spread, not only to Nebraskans, but across the country as well."

The land stewardship actions of Jean Parker, owner of the 3,680 acre Cross L Cattle Company in eastern Sheridan County, will also be recognized.  "Partnering with Jean has allowed our agency to reach many of our conservation goals for that particular region," said Shelley Stoley, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission biologist.  "Even more importantly, the partnership has allowed Jean to profitably and sustainably manage her ranch to the benefit of the unique plant and animal communities of the area."

Visit the Bird Partnership Awards Program page to learn more about the awards.

Deer Harvest Regs Under Review
Monday, 15 March 2010 12:56

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioners at their regular meeting Friday will consider changes to the state's 2010 big-game hunting regulations, including a plan to boost the number of deer killed by hunters.

The 2009 white-tailed deer harvest in Nebraska fell short of expectations. The Commission wants more deer taken in eastern Nebraska, and tighter restrictions for mule deer hunting in southwest and south-central Nebraska.

Read the full article about deer and big game recommendations from the Omaha World Herald.

Growing Native Plants in the Backyard Landscape
Monday, 15 March 2010 12:48

Native plants have evolved and adapted to local conditions over thousands of years. They are vigorous and hardy, so they can survive winter cold and summer heat with a minimum of care.  The Friends of Wilderness Park will host a panel discussion at 3 p.m. on March 21 at the Unitarian Church, 6300 A St., Lincoln, on how to grow native plants and grasses in your yard.  There is no charge for the presentation and it is open to the public.

Read the full article about the growing native plants presentation at the Lincoln Journal Star.

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