LINCOLN – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission adopted fee increases to some permits and stamps at its meeting Aug. 18 in Broken Bow.
Fee increases, which will take effect with 2017 permits, were approved for several permits, including hunting, big game, fishing, and paddlefish, as well as for habitat, aquatic habitat and Nebraska migratory waterfowl stamps. Some issuing and application fees also were increased. To see a list of fee changes, go to OutdoorNebraska.org/FeeChanges.
Proposed increases to park entry permits were rejected by the commissioners. They will be reconsidered in October.
The increase in hunt permit fees will help maintain the Game Cash fund, which is used for fish and wildlife management and conservation activities. Extra revenues for the Aquatic Habitat Fund will allow for a sustainable aquatic habitat renovation program, while the additional Habitat Fund dollars will allow for some increase in management efforts to implement the Commission’s pheasant plan.
In other business, the commissioners approved amendments:
— to wildlife management area regulations as follows: amends the definition of motorized vehicles, allows float tubes to be used for fishing, allows scuba diving except where and when prohibited, and states that wildlife management areas may be closed to the public during special hunts;
— to add fur harvest to hunt/fish combination permits for resident deployed military, veterans, and seniors;
— to approve the operating and capital improvement budget request for fiscal years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019; and
— to continue allowing hunting in some state parks and state historical parks (view the Nebraska Public Access Atlas at Maps.OutdoorNebraska.gov/PublicAccessAtlas);
The commissioners heard a preview of the Lake McConaughy/Lake Ogallala Master Plan. Game and Parks staff also gave a presentation on the new online interactive Missouri River Outdoor Recreation Access Guide.
Brett Roberg of Holdrege was drawn as the winner of the 2016 bighorn sheep lottery permit.
Service Awards were presented to two Broken Bow volunteer instructors for their support of Nebraska’s Hunter Education Program. Louie Stithem was recognized for 40-plus years of service and Dave Haumont was honored for 20-plus years of service.
An Employee Enterprise Award was presented to Trisha Schlake of Lincoln. Trisha, a GIS analyst, was recognized for work in interactive mapping. One such map, the Missouri River Outdoor Recreation Access Guide, recently won international acclaim.
Awards of Excellence were presented to the Nebraska One Box Pheasant Hunt for its contributions toward conservation of wildlife habitat, and to the Nebraska One Box Rock Crushers for dedication in advancement of shooting sports.