Commission adopts changes to boating regulations

January 20, 2017 Jerry Kane

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on Jan. 20 adopted amended regulations that will allow people to obtain boating safety certification via an online course.

The amended regulation will help streamline boater education by increasing opportunities for constituents, while retaining the classroom and home-study options for obtaining certification. Any boat operator born after Dec. 31, 1985 must have successfully completed the Nebraska boating safety course and be in possession of a valid certificate.

Another boating regulation amendment adopted by the Commission at its meeting in Lincoln standardizes the maps in the Special Rules and Regulations for Nonpublic Lake Associations.

In other business, the Commission:

— approved the following grant awards for the Land and Water Conservation Fund Stateside Assistance Program:

– – Beatrice, $100,864 to build a new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant playground, picnic shelter and hike/bike trail at Hannibal Park;

– – Beemer, $100,000 to build a new splash pad at 5th Street Community Park;

– – David City, $85,455 to replace a new picnic shelter and build a new ADA-compliant restroom and shower building at David City Park;

– – Elmwood, $64,000 to build and replace playground equipment, trail improvements and gazebo at Elmwood Village Park;

– – Fullerton, $129,847 to build an RV camping area at Powerhouse Park;

– – Ord, $140,000 to build a splash pad and aquatic center at Bussell Park;

– – Paxton, $10,908.50 to replace ballfield fencing and improve ADA-compliant parking at Paxton Ballfield.

— approved the following outdoor trail projects for federal funding through the Recreational Trails Program:

– – Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, $250,000 to surface with crushed limestone 6.8 miles of the Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail west of Gordon;

– – Fullerton, $145,865.60 for an 1,850-foot-long concrete trail leading into Powerhouse Park;

– – Tekamah, $250,000 for a 4,400-foot-long concrete loop trail in Memorial Park;

– – Norfolk, $250,000 for extending the concrete Levee Trail by 1,800 feet and crossing under the U.S. Highway 275 bridge.

— amended wildlife regulations regarding game breeding and controlled shooting areas (CSA). The amendments clarify language regarding the sale of birds by CSA permit holders, changes the date of the season close to April 15, and allows CSA permit holders an additional two weeks to submit required reports.

— approved an increase to the Cash Change Fund at Summit Lake State Recreation Area near Tekamah to support the coinage requirements at the new shower house.

Karie Decker, an assistant administrator in the Wildlife Division, gave a preview of 2017 waterfowl seasons.

Jeff Rawlinson, an assistant administrator in the Communications Division, updated the Commission on efforts to recruit, retain and reactivate hunters and anglers in Nebraska.

In other business, the Commission also refused to issue a declaratory order in response to a petition by Dr. Ann Connor of Kearney regarding the keeping of wild and hybrid cats. The order was refused because the petition requests a declaratory order on the effect of past conduct and the order would not resolve the controversy or uncertainty.

The Commission elected its officers for the coming year as follows: Chairman, Rex Fisher, Omaha; Vice Chairman, Dick Bell, Omaha; and 2nd Vice Chairman, Bob Allen, Eustis.


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