Natural Resources

Treated seed in ethanol production banned

Lawmakers gave final approval April 29 to a bill that prohibits the use of treated seed in ethanol production under certain circumstances and makes additional changes to laws governing natural resources in Nebraska.

Sen. Bruce Bostelman
Sen. Bruce Bostelman

LB507, introduced by Brainard Sen. Bruce Bostelman, prohibits the use of treated seed in the production of ethanol if its use results in the generation of a byproduct that is deemed unsafe for livestock consumption or land application.

The bill contains provisions of three additional bills, including LB190, introduced by Venango Sen. Dan Hughes, which prohibit the Legislature from appropriating or transferring money from the Water Sustainability Fund for purposes other than those outlined in statute after June 30, 2021.

The provisions of LB191, also introduced by Hughes, allow a qualified landowner or leaseholder to be an irrigation district elector if they live in a certain irrigation district in which at least half of the landowners, leaseholders or entrymen of government lands are not Nebraska residents.

Under provisions originally introduced by Creighton Sen. Tim Gragert as LB395, the secretary of the state Game and Parks Commission may designate special antelope and elk depredation seasons or extend existing hunting seasons when they determine that the animals are causing excessive property damage.

A Nebraska resident will pay no more than $25 for a special depredation season permit, and a nonresident will pay no more than $75.

The bill requires the commission to charge landowners and their immediate family members no more than $10 for a special depredation season permit. Those who own or operate at least 20 acres of farm or ranch land within the geographic area in which hunting is permitted may take deer and antelope, and those who own or operate at least 80 acres may take elk.

The proposal also requires the commission to issue one free-earned elk permit to certain landowners and lessees when hunters have harvested the qualifying number of antlerless elk on their land.

The commission will use income from the special permits to abate damage caused by deer, antelope and elk.

The bill passed 48-0 and takes effect immediately.

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