Campers react to state park closures - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Campers react to state park closures

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Posted By: Camila Orti

News that several state recreation areas are closing is not sitting well with campers.

Due to funding challenges, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is temporarily shutting down access to nearly 30 parks across the state, including popular camping areas like Rock Creek Lake and Stagecoach.

Most parks will close Sept. 16 and reopen May 1.

Larger sites like Branched Oak and Pawnee will stay open, but some campers are worried about overcrowding.

That's why Kevin Rittenburg says he likes to camp at Stagecoach.

"It's just so nice and open," Rittenburg said.

Five historical parks will also shut down.

Game and Parks Director Jim Douglas released the following statement: "The temporary closure of parks and the redirection of staff to work priority projects is one more step in an effort to address the funding challenges of the Nebraska State Park System."

Rittenburg, who enjoys camping in the fall, says the closures might push even more people into already crowded sites.

"I mean just like overfishing a lake, if everybody fishes one lake, there's no fish, so I think it's a bad thing," Rittenburg said. "I would think they could cut costs somewhere else."

State recreation areas closing include: Blue River, Cheyenne, Conestoga, Cottonwood, Dead Timber, DLD, Keller, Long Lake, Long Pine, Nort Loup, Olive Creek, Oliver Reservoir, Pelican Point, Riverview Marina, Rock Creek Lake, Sandy Channel, Schramm, Sutherland, Union Pacific, Verdon, Stagecoach, Walgren, and War Axe. Vehicle access to boat ramps will remain open at Riverview, Pelican Point and Sutherland's Hershey Beach.

State historical parks closing include: Ash Hollow, Buffalo Bill, and Fort Hartsuff. Fort Atkinson and Alexandria will close Oct. 7 and reopen May 1.

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