23-3806. Notices for management of colonies; form; publication; hearing; failure to comply with notice; powers of county board; costs; lien; notice to county attorney; penalty; collection actions.

(1)(a) Notices for management of colonies shall consist of two kinds: General notice and individual notices, which notices shall be on a form prescribed by this section. Failure to publish general notice or to serve individual notices as provided in this section shall not relieve any person from the necessity of full compliance with the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Act.

(b) General notice shall be published by the county board of each county that has adopted a coordinated program for the management of black-tailed prairie dogs under section 23-3803 in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the county on or before May 1 of each year or at such other times as the county board may determine.

(c) Whenever any county board of a county that has adopted a coordinated program for the management of black-tailed prairie dogs under section 23-3803 has reason to believe, based upon information or through its own investigation, that a colony, or any portion of a colony, has expanded onto adjacent property and the owner of the adjacent property objects to such expansion and the county board determines that it is necessary to secure more prompt or definite management of a colony than is accomplished by the general published notice, it shall cause to be served individual notice, upon the owner of record of the property upon which the colony is located at his or her last-known address, of recommended methods of when and how black-tailed prairie dogs are to be managed.

(d) The county board shall use one or both of the following forms for all individual notices:

(i) .......... County Board

OFFICIAL NOTICE

Information received by the county board indicates the existence of an unmanaged black-tailed prairie dog colony on property owned by you at: ................................. . The method of management recommended by the county board is as follows: ................................................ . Other appropriate management methods are acceptable if approved by the county board.

State law specifies a duty of each person who owns or controls property within a county that has adopted a coordinated program for the management of black-tailed prairie dogs under section 23-3803 to manage black-tailed prairie dog colonies present upon his or her property to prevent the expansion of colonies to adjacent property if the owner of the adjacent property objects to such expansion. You must provide notice and evidence to the county board within sixty days after the date specified at the bottom of this notice that appropriate management as specified in this notice, or alternative management that is approved by the board, has been initiated. If services for the management of black-tailed prairie dogs are not available within the sixty-day period specified in this notice, you may satisfy this notice by providing evidence that you have arranged for management to occur when available. If such notice and evidence are not received by the county board within sixty days after the date specified at the bottom of this notice, the county board or its agent may enter upon your property for the purpose of taking the appropriate management measures. Costs for the management activities performed by the county board shall be at the expense of the owner of the property and shall become a lien on the property as a special assessment levied on the date of control.

If the county board receives a written request from you within fifteen days after the date specified at the bottom of this notice, you are entitled to a hearing before the county board to challenge this notice.

County Board

Dated ................... ; or

(ii) .......... County Board

OFFICIAL NOTICE

Information received by the county board indicates the presence of an unmanaged black-tailed prairie dog colony on property owned by you at: ........................................... . The method of management recommended by the county board is as follows: ............................................. . Other appropriate management methods are acceptable if approved by the county board.

State law specifies a duty of each person who owns or controls property within a county that has adopted a coordinated program for the management of black-tailed prairie dogs under section 23-3803 to manage black-tailed prairie dog colonies present upon his or her property to prevent the expansion of colonies to adjacent property if the owner of the adjacent property objects to such expansion. You must provide notice and evidence to the county board within sixty days after the date specified at the bottom of this notice that appropriate management as specified in this notice, or alternative management that is approved by the board, has been initiated. If services for the management of black-tailed prairie dogs are not available within the sixty-day period specified in this notice, you may satisfy this notice by providing evidence that you have arranged for management to occur when available. If such notice and evidence are not received by the county board within sixty days after the date specified at the bottom of this notice you may, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of $100.00 per day for each day of noncompliance beginning on ......., up to a maximum of fifteen days of noncompliance (maximum $1,500).

If the county board receives a written request from you within fifteen days after the date specified at the bottom of this notice, you are entitled to a hearing before the county board to challenge this notice.

County Board

Dated ...................

(2) Upon the written request of any landowner served with an individual notice pursuant to subsection (1) of this section received within fifteen days after the date specified by such notice, the county board shall hold an informal public hearing to allow such landowner an opportunity to address the county board's notice.

(3) If a landowner who has received a notice pursuant to subsection (1) of this section fails to comply with the notice, the county board shall:

(a) If, upon expiration of the sixty-day period specified on the notice required by subdivision (1)(d)(i) of this section, the landowner has not complied with the notice and has not requested a hearing pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, the county board may cause proper management methods to be used on such property and shall advise the record landowner of the cost incurred in connection with such operation. The cost of any such management shall be at the expense of the landowner. In addition, the county board shall immediately cause notice to be filed of possible unpaid black-tailed prairie dog management assessments against the property upon which the management measures were used in the register of deeds office in the county where the property is located. If unpaid for two months, the county board shall certify to the county treasurer the amount of such expense and such expense shall become a lien on the property upon which the management measures were taken as a special assessment levied on the date of management. The county treasurer shall add such expense to and it shall become and form a part of the taxes upon such land and shall bear interest at the same rate as delinquent taxes; or

(b) If, upon the expiration of the sixty-day period specified on the notice required by subdivision (1)(d)(ii) of this section, the landowner has not complied with the notice and has not requested a hearing pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, the county board shall notify the county attorney who shall proceed against such landowner as prescribed in this subdivision. A person who is responsible for an unmanaged colony shall, upon conviction, be guilty of an infraction pursuant to sections 29-431 to 29-438, except that the penalty shall be a fine of one hundred dollars per day for each day of violation, up to a total of one thousand five hundred dollars for fifteen days of noncompliance.

(4) This section shall not be construed to limit satisfaction of the obligation imposed by this section in whole or in part by tax foreclosure proceedings. The expense may be collected by suit instituted for that purpose as a debt due the county or by any other or additional remedy otherwise available. Amounts collected under this section shall be deposited to the black-tailed prairie dog management fund of the county board if such fund has been created by the county board or, if no such fund has been created, then to the county general fund.

Source:Laws 2012, LB473, ยง 6.