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Health alert issued after high algae levels detected in Pawnee Lake

LINCOLN, Neb. – A health alert is in effect for Pawnee Lake in Lancaster County. During water testing earlier this week, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality detected elevated toxin levels produced by blue-green algal blooms in Pawnee Lake. Visitors to Pawnee Lake Recreation Area should avoid full body contact activities 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 …

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Indian Cave SP to celebrate eclipse with Humanities Nebraska speaker, other activities

LINCOLN, Neb. – Matthew “Sitting Bear” Jones will present a program on the Otoe-Missouria people of Nebraska on Saturday, Aug. 19 at Indian Cave State Park near Shubert. The presentation, which begins at 7 p.m., highlights how the Otoe-Missouria affected Nebraska, and how the Louisiana Purchase and Nebraska’s statehood affected the Otoe-Missouria people. The presentation is one of several activities planned at the park in the days leading up to the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 and is made …

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Hunting on state recreation areas begins Sept. 5

LINCOLN, Neb. – Hunters are reminded that state recreation areas (SRA) are closed to hunting until Tuesday, Sept. 5. Several hunting seasons will be open during the Labor Day weekend. Archery deer, dove, grouse and other small game seasons will be open Friday, Sept 1. The early teal season begins Sept. 2. SRA regulations prohibit any hunting until the Tuesday following Labor Day, which is Sept. 5. Regulations state the portions of some SRAs are open to hunting from the …

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Are you REALLY ready for the total solar eclipse?

It will undoubtedly be among the most stunning sights you have ever witnessed. It has been labeled as one of the most awe-inspiring events in nature, and it’s coming! For the first time in 26 years, a total solar eclipse will occur in our great country, and we, in Nebraska, will play host to the world’s eclipse-chasers along with eleven other states on August 21st for about a minute or two around the lunch hour depending on local time. To find out exact times of the …

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Convergence on Sacred Ground

If the hills and bluffs at Ash Hollow State Historical Park could talk they would have been buzzing about the Convergence on Sacred Ground event last weekend. Perhaps they were pleased to have the Lakota’s with their teepees, dances and sacred dialog being echoed about. Wagons once again rolled along the Oregon/California trail. The sounds of horses and cattle filled the air as cowboys roped and branded cattle on the meadows of the park. And the aromas from Dutch ovens …

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8 Reasons to Tackle Bluegill this Summer

Maybe it’s the kid in me, I don’t know. But, at 54 years of age (approaching 55), I still enjoy catching bluegill from the bank in summer, how about you? I know, I know, the lowly bluegill, a sunfish family member with more nicknames than a popular sports figure, is a prey species that doesn’t get very big. Why would I waste my time along the shoreline or on a pier catching and releasing THIS FISH? Let me tell you why. In my view, …

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Racin’ and ‘Reckin’ at the Regatta

Alpine and Rick Hickstein

With Chadron’s Fur Trade Days celebration nearing, a photo on the shelf caught my eye last week. It was a black and white image from my first entry in the Fur Trade Regatta, an annual canoe race at Chadron State Park. That year, I teamed up with Bart Hughes, a coworker at the Chadron Record. It blew my mind to think that photo was taken 20 years ago. The Fur Trade Days Regatta at Chadron State Park might not be …

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Ranger programs ramping up at Fort Robinson, Chadron state parks

CHADRON, Neb. – A series of ranger programs is ramping up at Fort Robinson State Park and Chadron State Park this week. The educational programs, which address a wide variety of nature and history topics, are produced as a collaboration between the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument and the U.S. Forest Service’s Hudson-Meng Education and Research Center. The events at Chadron State Park will be at the Trading Post. Those at Fort Robinson will convene …

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Wildcat Hills Bioblitz identifies 141 species

Young "citizen scientists"

GERING, Neb. – Participants of the Wildcat Hills Bioblitz at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area near Gering observed 141 species of plants, animals and insects Friday night and Saturday morning, July 7-8. About 70 volunteers became “citizen scientists” in taking a survey of the area from 1 p.m. Friday to noon Saturday. Amber Schiltz of the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies said good fortune came to the event from the start as a wild six-lined racerunner, a small lizard species, …

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Temporary campsite closure scheduled at Niobrara SP

LINCOLN, Neb. – Standard and tent campsites at Niobrara State Park will close for road construction July 11 and reopen July 13 at 3 p.m. Contractors will mill the road cracks on the bottom of the 3-mile loop and mill the top half for paving. The RV campground will be fog-coated during this same period, and the road from the park entrance booth to the RV campground will be milled and resurfaced. Contact the park for more information at 402-857-3373.

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