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Nebraska Board of Commissioners Tables Waterfowl Recommendations

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

LINCOLN, Neb. – -( The Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners tabled recommendations to the 2009 waterfowl hunting regulations at its meeting Friday. In doing so, however, it recommended opening dates of the early teal and early Canada goose seasons be moved up seven days.

Many hunters appeared at the public hearing and some told the board they desired an earlier teal season to better take advantage of the peak migration.

In tabling the recommendations, the board directed the wildlife staff make any further changes, which would be based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service framework, and amend the early teal and early Canada goose season openers to Sept. 5.

The amended recommendations will be brought before the board in its next meeting, Aug. 28. The board then could approve them and set the seasons.

A number of representatives of the tourism industry along the central Platte River spoke regarding the proposed recommendations for the light goose conservation action. One proposal would reduce the buffer zone in Zone 2, starting on March 11, to within 3 miles of the Platte River channel, instead of 5. Many said they could support a 3-mile buffer zone but nothing less than that.

Following another public hearing, the board approved amendments to wildlife regulations for Clear Creek Wildlife Management Area near Lake McConaughy. The amendments added flexibility in the language that would allow additional hunting opportunities in the future.

The board also:

— approved the acquisition of the 220-acre Hermone Tract north of Lincoln in Lancaster County, which will be managed for wildlife diversity and hunting, and designated as Little Salt Creek West Wildlife Management Area.

— granted an easement to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Indian Cave State Park near Shubert so wing dikes along the Missouri River at Indian Cave Bend may be notched and extended in an effort to enhance fishing and create shallow-water habitat to benefit the endangered pallid sturgeon.

Dr. Steven Schultz, an economist at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, presented a summary of the Niobrara River Economic Study. He was encouraged to complete the report by the Commission as part of its instream flow study of the river. Schultz said recreational floating on the river has an annual economic impact to the Valentine area of $10.9 million.

A group called Friends of Fort Hartsuff voiced its concern about budgets cuts to Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park near Burwell. The group lauded the park’s economic impact on the local area, but it said it was most concerned with access to it being reduced. Parks cuts have resulted in a 15-percent decrease in the fort’s operating budget.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
2200 N. 33rd Street
Lincoln, NE 68503
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