In 2012, the legislature passed the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Act.
Just three years later, Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha wants it repealed.
“It is one of the most heavy-handed approaches to a relatively insignificant issue that I have seen,” Chambers told lawmakers during legislative debate on LB 128.
Chambers criticizes the law that allows a county to move to eradicate prairie dog towns with or without the property owners consent.
Only Sheridan County, at the top of the Panhandle, has taken advantage of the act, which allows counties to create prairie dog eradication programs. The county can fine a property owner for not moving to control prairie dogs on his property or the county can enter the property and poison prairie dog colonies on its own.
Sen. Al Davis of Hyannis conceded there are problems with the law.
“But, let’s really talk about prairie dogs,” Davis told colleagues. “They are a pest in many respects and when you get them and you get them from your neighbor, it’s very costly for you to have to eradicate them.”
Still, the repeal measure moved forward on a 31-12 vote.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]