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Commission enforcing off-road restrictions at Box Butte Reservoir

Aerial photo of Box Butte Reservoir
Listed at 2,212 acres, Box Butte Reservoir is popular among anglers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts. (NEBRASKAland/Justin Haag)

HEMINGFORD, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is reminding visitors to Box Butte Reservoir that motorized vehicles are restricted to roads, parking areas or trails designated for vehicle use.

With water elevations lowered for dam repairs, many visitors to the lake have been accessing and traversing Box Butte Wildlife Management Area via the exposed shoreline and the Commission has closed some of the trails created from the traffic. The WMA includes the lake and all of the area surrounding it except the State Recreation Area at the northeast corner.

Commission officials say the off-road vehicle traffic has posed threats to wildlife and their habitats, in addition to increasing litter and reducing visitor safety.

Unless otherwise posted, the areas of the WMA closed to motorized vehicle traffic remain open to walk-in hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities.

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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