Commissioners Get Update on Platte River Outdoor Heritage Complex

Commissioners Get Update on Platte River Outdoor Heritage Complex

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

LINCOLN, Neb. –( Platte River State Park may become a prime venue for outdoor skills education in eastern Nebraska with the completion of the Platte River Outdoor Heritage Complex, the Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners was told Friday at its regular meeting.

Through a grant from the Nebraska Game and Parks Foundation, the Commission has moved forward with developing an array of facilities designed to accommodate personal outdoor skills development as part of the agency’s 20-year plan to recruit, develop and retain hunters and anglers in the state.

The proposed facilities will include a 50-yard small bore range, 50-yard target archery range and indoor pellet/BB gun plinking range. Design work has begun on this project.

Future plans may include enhanced fishing access on Jenny Newman Lake, a canoe/kayak launch and other venues designed for outdoor skills education. The facilities will be used for educational programming by agency Education and Parks staff in promoting hunting, fishing, shooting sports, hunter/angler skills, and firearm safety. This may include youth skills camps, school programming and family camps. The facilities also may be open for public shooting on a scheduled basis.

In other action, the board approved:

— a regulation change requiring that all deer, except those taken in the November firearm season, must be checked within 48 hours of the time they were taken.

— the extension of the grouse hunting season from Dec. 31 to Jan. 31. Regulations still require the season to open on the Saturday nearest Sept. 15. The change will align the season with the close of pheasant and quail seasons and allow more opportunities for late-season mixed bag hunting of all three species.

— regulations governing the use of Carter Canyon and Montz Point public access areas in Scotts Bluff County. Wildlife management area rules will apply, except target shooting will be prohibited.

— regulations for shooting range performance standards.

— the establishment of a petty cash/change fund of $60 at Rock Creek Hatchery to accommodate permit sales.

— the acquisition of the 3-acre Hubbard Tract in Morrill County, which will be an extension of Arnold Trupp Wildlife Management Area and managed for wildlife diversity and hunting.

— an agreement between Ducks Unlimited (DU), Inc., and the Commission to provide public access and conservation management for two tracts owned by DU (Rempel, 16 acres and Siebert, 80 acres) in York County.

— the Angler Access Program, a plan to enhance bank angler access on public waters.

— an agreement with the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency to rehabilitate the fish community at Carter Lake in Douglas County and contribute up to $2 million in Aquatic Habitat Program funds.

The board approved the following rankings of Land and Water Conservation Fund grant applications, including recommended funding and ranking points. Final approval of the projects would come from the National Park Service:

— Beatrice, Riverside Park campground development, $44,200, 238 points;

— Louisville, City Park playground development, $18,000, 236 points;

— Harrison, swimming pool renovation, $37,500, 235 points;

— Aurora, Cole Park shelter development, $82,689, 226 points.

The following Recreational Trails Program grant application funding recommendations were approved:

— Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, administration, $63,000;

— Schuyler, South Park Pond Trail, phase II, $80,466;

— Ralston, Oak Park Recreational Trail, $100,432;

— Aurora, Streeter Park to 9th Street Trail, $150,000;

— Hebron, Rock Island Trail, $25,521;

— Aurora, Cole Park Trail, $150,000;

— Lincoln, Billy Wolff Trail renovation, $49,700;

— Omaha, Cunningham Lake Trail, $127,431.

The board also approved the following funding recommendations for the State Wildlife Grant Program:

— The Nature Conservancy, enhancing diversity and at-risk species habitat in degraded prairie landscapes, $54,332;

— University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Board of Regents, restoring interior least tern and piping plover populations by restoring lower Platte River sandbar habitat, $49,336;

— University of Nebraska-Kearney (UNK), response of herpetofauna to grazing and fire in wet, tallgrass prairies along the Platte River, $35,000;

— UNL and The Nature Conservancy, factors that regulate plant species diversity in prairies, $20,000;

— Southern Illinois University, regional assessment of Platte River wetland restoration recovery, $15,000;

— Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, noninvasive genetic analysis of scat to estimate otter population size in the Platte River Biologically Unique Landscape (BUL), $9,000;

— Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, mountain plover chick survival and habitat use in agricultural fields within the Kimball Grassland BUL, $65,000;

— UNK and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, reestablishment of plains topminnow in historical locations, $26,400;

— Prairie Plains Resource Institute, greenhouse construction, seed management building improvement and greenhouse growing internship, $25,000.

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