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Blue Lake closed for eclipse

ALLIANCE, Neb. – As the solar eclipse nears the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has closed access to Blue Lake, a public fishing site on private property 22 miles north of Oshkosh in Garden County.

Commission officials are taking the action with concerns that inexperienced drivers may encounter difficulties navigating the two-track trail leading to the Sandhills lake. The lake will reopen Wednesday, Aug. 23.

Because the trail and lake are on private property, the Commission takes special measures to prevent damage to the area. A lease agreement with a landowner allows for public use of the 2.7-mile trail to the lake near Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Crescent Lake Wildlife Management Area. The area is in the center of the eclipse’s path of totality and is expected to be popular among visitors.

About Justin Haag

Justin Haag has served the Commission as a public information officer in the Panhandle since 2013. His duties include serving as regional editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine. Haag was raised in southwestern Nebraska, where he developed a love for fishing, hunting and other outdoor pursuits. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Chadron State College in 1996, he worked four years as an editor and reporter at newspapers in Chadron and McCook. Prior to joining the Commission in 2013, he worked 12 years as a communicator at Chadron State, serving as the institution’s media and public relations coordinator the last five. He and his wife, Cricket, live in Chadron, and have two children.

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