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Health alert issued for Wagon Train Lake

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LINCOLN, Neb. – A health alert for harmful algal blooms, also known as toxic blue-green algae, has been issued at Wagon Train Lake in Lancaster County. Visitors to Wagon Train State Recreation Area should avoid full-body contact activities that could lead to swallowing water, such as swimming, wading, skiing, jet skiing, etc. Non-contact activities such as boating, fishing and camping are OK. Dog owners are urged to keep pets out of the water and not allow them to ingest lake …

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Plan ahead and stay safe when having fun on the water

The Nebraska state park system offers some fantastic beaches for swimming and wading, and they’re open now! More than two dozen state recreation areas offer a chance for everyone to catch some rays, play in the sand and cool off in the water of lakes and reservoirs during hot days, as long as COVID-19 health guidelines and measures are followed. Beach swimming is blast! My family and I really enjoy it. However, drowning in dark water is a real danger. Even …

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Preserving the Pine Ridge

Catastrophic wildfires have ravaged more than half of northwestern Nebraska’s pine forests. Land managers are making strides toward a more sustainable future. On this sunny day, Bryce Gerlach is visiting a timber-thinning project at Gilbert-Baker Wildlife Management Area in the northwest corner of the state. Gerlach, who is a forester funded by the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, likes what he sees. “This is the project that is going to save Gilbert-Baker someday,” he …

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What is that mushroom? Is it edible?

*BLOGGER’S NOTE: I have been inundated with inquiries and questions about the dryad’s saddle or pheasant’s back mushroom this spring. So I wanted to bring back and repurpose a blog I wrote a little more than one-year ago about this edible, wild woodland fungi. I hope you find it helpful and informative. Enjoy your time in the woods! GW. Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is another edible wild fungi growing in your moist woodlands that you should …

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Fort Robinson pond project boosts fishing opportunities

CRAWFORD, Neb. – Northwest Nebraska has regained a few fishing spots this spring. Construction has been completed on the first phase of a $2.8 million renovation project to the ponds at Fort Robinson State Park. Improvements have occurred to all but one of the Grabel Ponds, Cherry Creek Pond, the Cherry Creek diversion pond, and the lower Ice House Pond. All but Cherry Creek Pond is stocked and ready for fishing. The most obvious improvements to the ponds, each of …

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Go Fish, and Take the Kids In Your Household!

Through the COVID-19 pandemic it’s hard to find things to do with the family and others in your household, especially when the weather is nice. Have you ever considered going fishing? Kids love it! Look, we all must follow CDC, state and local health guidelines and regulations, but if there ever was a time to legally, allowably wet a line in Nebraska, it is now in the springtime! In fact, May is the best fishing month of the year when …

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Forest thinning ramping up on Game and Parks properties

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CHADRON, Neb. – Forest thinning is either underway or scheduled to begin soon at three Nebraska Game and Parks Commission properties in the Pine Ridge near Crawford and Harrison. The projects consist of 258 acres at Gilbert-Baker Wildlife Management Area, 84 acres at Ponderosa Wildlife Management Area, and 80 acres at Fort Robinson State Park. The work is beginning this spring and will continue into fall. Most of the efforts are targeting stands of ponderosa pine trees, which, as with …

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Platte River State Park

I never feel overwhelmed at Platte River State Park. Whether there are thousands of kids attending an Outdoor Discovery day or just a few vehicles, I can always take a deep, relaxing breath whenever I pull into the park. Located three miles from Louisville – between Omaha and Lincoln – the park is a welcomed break from city life. It offers both family-friendly attractions and solace in its 450 acres, even on the busiest of weekends. I love playing with …

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Kearney Water Trail

At 2.3 miles, the Kearney Water Trail is undoubtedly one of the shortest in Nebraska. Despite that fact, it might also be one of the busiest. On any given day from April through October, you’re apt to see kayakers paddling down the trail, which utilizes the Kearney Canal and Turkey Creek on the southwestern corner of this central Nebraska city of 38,000. Its location certainly plays into its popularity. The trail opened in 2016, a joint effort between the city, …

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Wildcat Hills Nature Center plans online Earth Day program

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GERING, Neb. – In order to serve people homebound from the COVID-19 issue, the Wildcat Hills Nature Center is beginning a series of outdoor education programs on the popular online meeting platform Zoom this week with an Earth Day celebration. The event is set for 6 p.m. MDT Wednesday, April 22. Amanda Filipi, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission outdoor education specialist, will tell about the history of Earth Day and lead participants in a project to create art from recycled …

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