NE Game and Parks Commission holds public hearing to address 20 year management plan

NORTH PLATTE, NE The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission held a public hearing to address their 20 year management plan Thursday where the public had the opportunity to express their concerns .

The commission enforced the first phase of the plan this past spring to limit access to the beach for crowd control and to help protect endangered species.

While residents say they understand their reasoning, they believe their actions will have negative consequences.

"It always confuses me why golf carts wouldn't be allowed, yet big, four-wheel drives and what not, can come down there and cause more damage than a golf cart would," said North Shore resident Dave Kalahar." But again, the big thing with the golf carts is our senior citizens that want to get to down to the beach."

"I'm disabled also, and who I am speaking up for, are the people that have been buying fishing licenses for 50 years, they are the most valued customers and they are not getting any representation and respect," said JC Cedar View owner Johnny Carson. "They are being told to go away, you can't fish here anymore because the plovers are nesting here right now, But these people know how to co-exist with the plovers, they don't hurt the nests, they don't hurt the birds."

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Parks Division Administrator Jim Swenson says they are in a partnership with Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District and they are required to to comply with federal regulations to protect the lake and wildlife species.

"If they are unable to comply with the objective and mandates that have been handed to them, the consequences could be a little more heavy handed than just a twenty year management plan," Swenson said. "We are hopeful that with a good plan, we know we have a good plan, we know that it will get better with the input that we are receiving from the public."

The plan also includes developing campsites, boating enhancements and improvements on landscape.

They also hope to section off areas to control access onto and from the beach for public safety.