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We know that the Good Life in Nebraska is all about the great outdoors and we want leaders who make the right choices so that our children and grandchildren can inherit the same rich and healthy environment we enjoy today.

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The future of the Good Life is at stake here in Nebraska. Clean Air, Clean Water, Open Space are all impacted by our state legislature. 

With the resources available on this web site, we want to connect you with good information about the candidates and the 102nd Legislature. Find out what issues we are working on and what you can do to help with this important work.

2012 Candidate Endorsements 

This election cycle we have decided to focus on two of Nebraska's most important congressional races.  In making our decisions, we relied on the public record of candidates on conservation issues of importance to Nebraska, and on public statements made during the 2012 campaign.

For U.S. Senate, we are endorsing Bob Kerrey.

Bob Kerrey

During his 12 years in the US Senate, Kerrey generally supported people who hunt, fish, and love the out-
doors. His League of Conservation Voters scores ranged from 65% to 100%, depending on the Congress.

Kerrey supported better management of the Missouri River, supported funding to reduce water pollution and
protect our drinking water, opposed efforts to sell off valuable public lands, and supported efforts to protect
the fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling,

Kerrey has said publicly that he accepts the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real
and human activity is a key cause: “We know our planet is warming and our weather becoming more erratic.
We know that the impact of this warming will be terrible for the economic livelihood of future generations
particularly those of us who live on the semi-arid high plains.”

Deb Fischer

Fischer earned an “F” on the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters 2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard,
based on her votes and other actions during the Nebraska legislative session;

Fischer sponsored LB 229 in 2011, legislation that would have diverted $77 million over 11 years from the
Nebraska Environmental Trust, a fund that provides for wildlife habitat restoration and protection all across

Fischer sponsored LB 438 in 2009, which would have made Nebraska’s in-stream flow water rights law in-
operable in much of the state. At the time it would have precluded the Game & Parks Commission from ob-
taining an in-stream flow water right to protect some remaining flows in the Niobrara River;

Fischer sponsored LB 666 in 2009, which would have gutted the Niobrara Council's authority to help man-
age the Niobrara National Scenic River. The bill would have destroyed the carefully crafted partnership be-
tween the National Park Service and Niobrara Council;

Fischer said during a debate this year that while the climate might be warming she did not believe that hu-
mans play a role in climate change. Fischer says on her web site that she supports drilling in the fragile Alas-
kan National Wildlife Refuge, said the Environmental Protection Agency should be “possibly eliminated,” and
says “we must expand coal power plants.”

For the 2nd Congressional District, we're endorsing John W. Ewing Jr.

2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard

Our scorecard has been completed, and you might be in for a few surprises. The Nebraska League of Conservation Voters works to ensure that Nebraska legislators and other policy-makers have accurate information on the impacts of their policy choices on Nebraska’s air, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. We help Nebraskans understand how the people who represent them in the Legislature and in other offices are looking out for our natural resources.

This Legislative Scorecard is based on votes taken in the Legislature in the 2011-2012 legislative session. We sought input from other wildlife, conservation and environmental groups to help identify the issues and the votes that were most significant. We weeded out bills that passed unanimously or that failed to get out of committee in tracking votes, although we did use those bills to help us identify legislative leaders on various issues.

The 7 votes used in the Scorecard cover the broad conservation areas that came before the Legislature, including conservation funding, clean energy, recycling, wildlife management, and hunting and fishing. The votes are described on page 9.

Each Senator and the Governor were given raw numerical scores based on their votes or positions on the bills scored. We considered both the raw scores and whether a legislator was a clear leader on issues supported or opposed by the conservation community in assigning letter grades. The grades, A through F, represent our assessment of how well each Senator supported conservation values, based on their actual votes and actions in the Legislature.

Click here to view the complete scorecard. Use this to inform your voting in the upcoming election, to inform your advocacy priorities, and to inform your friends and family about the challenges we face and the leaders we have to help make it through.

How To Workshop on Running For Office -- RESCHEDULED to March 24th

In an effort to encourage and help conservation-minded folks to run for elected offices, the League will be hosting a How To Workshop on Running For Office on Saturday, March 24th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  Simultaneous workshops will be held in both Lincoln and Omaha.  Pre-registration is required, with a $50 registration fee, because there will be an attempt to tailor the Workshop to participant's needs and lunch and material will be provided.  A Workshop flyer and a registration form are available online.  The pre-registration deadline is Saturday, March 17th.  If you have any questions, please contact Larry Zink at 402-435-8600 ext. 249 or   

Candidate Endorsements

For 2010, the NLCV endorsed 9 candidates for state senate: Dave Pankonin, Burke Harr, Bob Krist, Kent Rogert, Carl Lorenzen, Bill Avery, Norm Wallman, Annette Dubas and Cap Dierks. We are proud to say that over half of our candidates were elected to senate seats!  Endorsed candidates Dave Pankonin, Burke Harr, Bob Krist, Bill Avery, Norm Wallman and Annette Dubas will take their seats for the 102nd Legislative Session in January.

2010 Election Reaction

Conservation is a non-partisan issue.  Protecting our land, water and wildlife is important to ALL Nebraskans. However, the NLCV recognizes that in times of economic recession conservation legislation can often take a back seat to hot-button topics such as unemployment, budget shortfalls and tax cuts.  That doesn't mean that protecting our natural resources is any less important-the NLCV promises to keep conservation at the forefront of all policy decisions for 2011. 

While budget deficits make it difficult to promote conservation-based initiatives, it is not impossible.  Here's inspiring proof:

Proposition 23: a ballot measure backed by polluters that would have suspended California's climate change laws was voted down by 61% of the voters.

Proposition 1: a constitutional amendment that will permanently dedicate $150 million per year in future state sales taxes for land, water and farmland preservation was voted into effect with 62% of the vote.

Measure 76: a constitutional amendment to continue dedicating a portion of the state lottery for parks and natural resources which will generate about $100 million per year was voted into effect with 68% of the vote.

Question 3: a statewide bond measure to provide $9.75 million for the "Land for Maine's Future" program was voted into effect with 60% of the vote.

San Antonio, TX
Propositions 1 & 2: a local measure that will extend the current sales tax providing an additional $90 million to protect land around the Edwards Aquifer, and another sales tax to provide $45 million for various open space and parks funding both passed with 66% and 67% of the vote, respectively.

Rhode Island
A $14.7 million statewide bond for parks and open space passed with 65% of the vote.  In Narragansett RI, another bond for $2 million dedicated to local land and space aquisition passed.

Measure 18-80 was defeated, ensuring ongoing support for fish habitat restoration in the Klamath River Basin in south-central Oregon.

These victories signify, that even during a large-scale economic recession and an election season dominated by anti-tax and anti-spending rhetoric, conservation can and will win. 


Click here to download a pdf of the 101st Session's Legislative Scorecard.


The 102st Legislature, First Session is scheduled to convene at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011.

To subscribe to the Legislative Digest, CONTACT US.

Connect to Your Representative

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Letter Writing Campaign

Help us inform our state legislators about the issues we care deeply about.  Simply click here to download a letter asking our senators to prioritize the reduction of carbon emissions for the state of Nebraska. Print and mail today!

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    The Nebraska League of Conservation Voters offers many opportunities to help shape Nebraska's natural resources laws.
    Please contact us if you have a few hours a week to get involved!