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Mountain lion hunt bad idea

Only around 22 independent-age mountain lions live in northwestern Nebraska, the smallest population of lions in the country. Yet Nebraska Game and Parks is proposing a trophy hunting season on them in 2022, and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is set to vote on this egregious proposal June 11.

The decision to allow the trophy hunting of mountain lions is based on an archaic, disproved notion that killing them will prevent conflicts with livestock, game species and humans. The fact is our wild spaces and other wildlife benefit from having mountain lions in Nebraska.

Research shows that the trophy hunting of mountain lions can lead to increased conflicts with humans, pets and livestock. All carnivores combined (including dogs) only account for less than 1% of livestock deaths. Mountain lions help keep deer populations in check, remove potentially sick animals and reduce the likelihood that a hunter shoots a deer or elk with diseased meat.

If Nebraska Game and Parks continues to allow these big cats to be killed, the revenue gained will be negligible, if any. It likely costs the state more to administer the hunt than the mere $5,000 it’s expected to generate for the agency.

Moreover, the hunt comes at a high price — the potential extirpation of lions from the state, and the loss of the very important ecological benefits they provide. I urge you to contact the commission and tell them to oppose the 2022 mountain lion hunt.

Jessica Barrett, Bellevue

GOP investigating the wrong thing

GOP leadership across our country is still counting votes and auditing election results seven months later. No evidence of fraud or malfeasance was ever found.

GOP leadership in Congress is ignoring physical evidence, deaths and 450 arrests that came of the Jan. 6 insurrection, instead calling a proposed investigatory commission a witch hunt.

Let that soak in for a moment.

Barbara Arendt, Lincoln

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