State mulls limits on visitors at 2 western Nebraska parks

January 13, 2020 GMT

OGALLALA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is considering limiting the number of visitors at Lake McConaughy and adjacent Lake Ogallala, where overcrowding has become a problem.

The high number of visitors in 2018 and 2019 stretched public safety, basic sanitation services, shower facilities, campgrounds and parking areas in both western Nebraska recreation areas, the commission said.

Proposed actions would be subject to approval of the commission and would go into effect before Memorial Day.

They could include designating specific camping areas across both lakes, limiting the number of vehicles and occupants entering those areas; requiring reservations for all overnight camping; requiring reservations for available campsites, including all primitive and beach camping; and a 14-day occupancy limit at all campsites.

All camping regulations would be strictly enforced, and there would be an increase in law enforcement at the areas.

A public open house to discuss the changes is scheduled to run from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Lake McConaughy Visitor Center and Water Interpretive Center.

People can go online for updated information or to make inquiries or comments.