COVID-19 Nebraska cases

Commission takes measures to keep staff, public safe in response to virus

LINCOLN — In a proactive effort to prevent the potential for spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at its facilities, parks and events, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is limiting some public access.

The Commission aims to protect its staff and customers by removing opportunities for crowds to gather at facilities and events and by maintaining clean facilities. To do so, the agency has taken the following steps:

-- All agency-sponsored events and activities scheduled through May 31 have been cancelled. This includes the Cornhusker Trap Shoot, National Archery in the Schools state tournament, hunter education classes, trainings and workshops, community fishing events, Outdoor Discovery Programs at Platte River State Park (SP) and Fort Kearny State Recreation Area (SRA), and the Fort Kearny Outdoor Expo.

-- The Omaha service center has been closed to public access until further notice. Customers may call the office at 402-595-2144 to get information or purchase permits. Permits and information also are available at OutdoorNebraska.org.

-- Through May 31, the Schramm Education Center near Gretna, Eugene T. Mahoney SP Activity Facility near Ashland, Wildcat Hills Nature Center near Gering, Fort Kearny State Historical Park Visitor Center near Kearney, Two Rivers SRA service center near Waterloo, and the Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center in Lincoln are closed to public walk-in access. Two Rivers SRA trout tags can be purchased at Iron Ranger locations near the trout lake.

-- All cancellations, postponements and closures are posted on the Commission’s website at OutdoorNebraska.org/healthinfo.

Commission headquarters in Lincoln, district offices in Alliance, North Platte and Norfolk, and service centers in Bassett and Kearney remain open to the public.

State parks, state recreation areas and state historical parks remain open for day use and camping. Purchase permits in advance of arrival at OutdoorNebraska.org. Overnight lodging accommodations, cabins and lodge rooms, remain open. Reservations for lodging may be rescheduled or, in some cases, refunded. Guests should contact the parks reservation center accordingly.

All wildlife management areas also are open.

The Commission’s meeting in Hastings will be conducted as scheduled on March 20. View the modified agenda at OutdoorNebraska.gov/commissioners.

“The health and well-being of our staff and customers is our highest priority,” Commission Director Jim Douglas said. “We are being cautious during this ever-changing time, and we are committed to keeping staff and customers as safe as possible. At the same time, we want them to enjoy the state’s many outdoor opportunities.”

Nebraska’s state park areas and wildlife areas are open-space landscapes that offer tremendous opportunities to enjoy the outdoors this spring. Nebraska has the nation’s best turkey hunting opportunities, and the spring turkey season begins March 25. Trout are being stocked in lakes across the state this month, creating plenty of memory-making fishing opportunities with family and friends. In addition, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing and horseback riding all can be enjoyed at state park and wildlife areas.

In other news

LINCOLN — While Community Fishing Nights will not be offered to the public this summer, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has several online resources to help anglers of all experience levels.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in one way or another. We have been staying at home for the most part with trips pretty much only being made to the grocery store, gas station or nearby trail for exercise.

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is accepting grant applications to promote outdoor recreation facilities and amenities for political subdivision parks and outdoor recreation areas through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

LINCOLN — Nebraskans will enjoy this summer boating on waters across the state. Last week marked National Safe Boating Week, May 16-22, 2020, and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission urged boaters to keep safety the top priority. Boaters and paddlers should not take safety for granted. Gam…

Camping will be allowed again on a first-come, first-served basis starting Friday, May 22, at Smith Falls State Park, 35 state recreation areas and wildlife management areas, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has announced.

June outdoor calendar

LINCOLN, Neb. – The following is a listing of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission important dates in June.

June 1 – Underwater spearfishing season begins at Box Butte Reservoir and on private waters

June 1-30 – Archery paddlefish season

June 5 – Final day landowners may apply for one elk permit

June 8-26 – Residents and nonresidents may apply for one deer permit in any draw unit

June 8-26 – Residents may apply for one elk permit

June 8-26 – Residents and eligible landowners may apply for one buck or either-sex antelope permit in available units.

June 19 – Nebraska Game and Parks Commission meeting, Lincoln

In a proactive effort to prevent the potential for spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Game and Parks has cancelled all agency-sponsored events scheduled through June 30, with the possibility of an extension. Game and Parks aims to protect its staff, customers and communities by limiting our events that create opportunities for crowds to gather at facilities.

Keep up to date on all cancellations, postponements and closures for Game and Parks at OutdoorNebraska.org/healthinfo. Visit Calendar.OutdoorNebraska.gov for updates on Game and Parks’ events.

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