AFI Bill Signed into law in Nebraska

From L:R) Senator John Cavanaugh (District 9), Senator Mike Jacobson (District 42), Senator Danielle Conrad (District 46), Evan Egger (AFI Hunt Participant), Dustin McKenna (NE AFI Liaison)

AFI Veterans Waterfowl Bill signed into Law in Nebraska!

Veterans and Active-Duty Service members received a win from Nebraska Game and Parks on Friday 8 March 2024.  The Commissioners of Nebraska Game and Parks voted unanimously to establish a Veteran Waterfowl Season.  This season will run for two days the weekend prior to each zone opening for duck season across the state.  Thanks to Nebraska Game and Parks the season will happen in 2024, but there is still work to be done to protect the season in state law for the future.  This work is being led by Senator Danielle Conrad and LB 867.


The work to establish this season started in July of 2023 when I started working with Commission, Rick Brandt.  I first approached Rick by doing a cold call where I called the number listed on his Game and Parks commissioner website.  Rick was ecstatic and willing to help in any way possible. Rick himself is a Navy Veteran turned outfitter, business owner, conservationist and now Game and Parks Commissioner.  Rick and I met every few weeks to discuss the season and establish a timeline for what was needing done when for it to be successfully added for the 2024 season dates.  Rick coordinated a meeting for me to sit down with the Director of Nebraska Game and Parks, Tim McCoy, where we talked through the idea of a Veteran Waterfowl season and director McCoy provided some feedback on verbiage of the legislative bill.  On 8 March the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission came together to promulgate their rules and orders for the 2024 waterfowl season.  At this point the NEGPC staff recommended the establishment of a Veteran Waterfowl season.  I attended this hearing and spoke as a proponent for the season.


Concurrently I started working with Nebraska State Senator Danielle Conrad.  Senator Conrads father was a veteran, and she also jumped at the opportunity to help the veteran community get outside.  Senator Conrads staff and I worked together to draft LB 1001, which would enact Nebraska Law mandating that game and parks conducts the season yearly.  Senator Conrad introduced the bill and it was scheduled to be heard in the Natural Resources Committee on 14 February.  Prior to the hearing Nebraska Game and Parks Wildlife Division Administrator (Alicia Hardin), National Guard Association of Nebraska Legislative Chair (Ryan McIntosh), Senator Conrad staff, and myself sat down to talk through a few minor wording issues within the bill.  The amendments we made were introduced as a white copy during the hearing to ensure the most current version of bill was being introduced.  Ryan McIntosh, myself, and Evan Egger, who was a veteran attendee at the Nebraska December Waterfowl hunt spoke in support.  Alicia Harden, showed up in a neutral status, but outlined how Nebraska Game and Parks would enact the law if it came to fruition. The chair of the Natural Resources Committee elected to amend the verbiage of LB 1001 into the committee’s priority bill LB 867 to ensure it would be heard on the floor.  As of 21 March 2024, the bill is at the ‘engrossing’ phase, the last phase before final reading on the floor.

About Trevor Hubbs

I grew up running hounds on coyotes and raccoons, spent a fair amount of time public land waterfowl hunting, and have hunted upland birds behind my setters across the midwest.

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