LINCOLN – Public access to hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities in Nebraska received a boost on Aug. 17 with the announcement that the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Funding from this three-year, $1.35 million Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) grant will be used to improve and expand the Open Fields and Waters (OFW) Program. “NRCS has been a valued partner of Game and Parks for decades and we look forward to growing that partnership with this new opportunity,” said Kelsey Drey, Open Fields and Waters coordinating wildlife biologist with Pheasants Forever.
OFW provides public walk-in hunting, fishing and trapping access on private land. Through OFW, Game and Parks offers incentives to landowners who allow access to quality habitats for hunting, fishing, trapping, and other forms of compatible outdoor recreation. In addition, Game and Parks offers incentives through OFW for habitat upgrades on these private lands when necessary to provide a quality experience to hunters, anglers and trappers. OFW is a joint project of Game and Parks, Pheasants Forever, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Nebraska Environmental Trust.
Game and Parks publishes a Nebraska Public Access Atlas, which includes OFW access sites, as well as all public lands open to hunting, fishing and trapping. It is available at OutdoorNebraska.org.