New mowing restriction advanced

A bill that would help encourage wildlife habitat growth and fight soil erosion got first-round approval from the Legislature April 20.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist34' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Curt Friesen'>Sen. Curt Friesen</a>
Sen. Curt Friesen

LB584, introduced by Henderson Sen. Curt Friesen, would prohibit counties and townships from mowing ditches before July 1 each year. Friesen said the bill could result in a cost savings to counties while benefitting local wildlife.

“It would encourage the growth of habitat for upland birds, pollinators and song birds,” he said. “It also could help reduce soil erosion and create bioswale buffers, which help reduce silt and pollution runoff water.”

The bill would not prohibit private landowners from mowing roadside vegetation on road shoulders, intersections or entrances.

A Transportation and Telecommunications Committee amendment, adopted 37-0, would require landowners to mow roads and drainage ditches at least twice annually, in July and September of each year.

The bill advanced to select file on a 36-0 vote.

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