Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nebraska Extends Grouse Season, Focus on Pheasant

LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners on Friday voted to expand the grouse-hunting season starting in 2011.

This year’s grouse season will be Sept. 1 through Jan. 31, 2012. Regulations previously called for the season to open on the Saturday nearest Sept. 15.

By making the change, Game and Parks is providing more hunting opportunity for a lightly hunted species and is aligning the dove and grouse season openers on a common date.

The board also approved a revised Focus on Pheasants plan. The plan seeks to create new focus areas and incentive programs to promote habitat improvements and to work with biologists to maximize effectiveness of habitat program delivery within those areas. Also, the plan hopes to continue researching the amount of habitat needed to establish and maintain a huntable pheasant population, and it will try to secure more pheasant habitat through U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs.

Commissioners also approved the funding of $254,383.60 for eight grants through the State Wildlife Grant (SWG) program, which addresses the needs of declining fish and wildlife populations. Game and Parks allocates part of its annual SWG funding, distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to other conservation entities on a competitive basis, with awardees required to provide a one-to-one match. The awarded projects must be deemed a priority in assisting Game and Parks in implementing the Nebraska Natural Legacy Plan.

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