LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts vetoed LB 449, which proposed repealing the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Act. LB 449 was introduced by State Senator Ernie Chambers of Omaha and opposed by agriculture groups, sportsmen, and local officials. The bill was passed by the Legislature 26-13-10.
“This legislation repeals the authority of counties to prevent the spread of prairie dogs when an individual landowner refuses to implement effective control measures on his property,” said Governor Ricketts. “My primary concern with LB 449 is that it fails to protect the individual property rights of those landowners who are detrimentally harmed by a neighbor’s inaction. This bill has been represented to be a landowner protection bill; however, repeal of these statutes would actually infringe on the property rights of responsible landowners.”
The Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Act, passed in 2012, gives county governments the authority to manage prairie dog populations across Nebraska. The bill empowered counties to manage invasive prairie dog populations. Prairie dog populations create expansive tunnel systems, which can destroy farm and ranch land, hurt animals, and lower property values if left unmanaged.
Governor Ricketts also vetoed LB 873 and LB 998. All three veto messages can be found by clicking here.