Landowner Participation in Open Fields and Waters Grows in Nebraska

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Open Fields and Waters, the program that pays landowners to open private acres to public walk-in hunting and fish access, added 211 new contracts in 2011, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Game and Parks increased payment rates this year and saw increased landowner participation, including 456 contract renewals.

The program currently has 768 contracts, including 271,220 land acres enrolled, 480 water acres and 60 miles of stream. The land acres include 129,467 acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, 17,772 acres of woodland, 93,292 acres of grassland, 748 acres of wetland, 7,973 acres of cropland, and approximately 18,000 unspecified or mixed-habitat acres.

The 2012 sign-up period is April through July. There will be no changes in rates next year.

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hunter25's picture

Great to see this program

Great to see this program taking hold in Nebraska. I have planned to hunt there for a very long time now but didn't know anything about this program. There is a lot of public land in Western Nebraska but from what I have read it gets pounded really hard by a ton of hunters. I thought of going in the later Muzzleloader season but am afraid the will be too wild and shot out too much from the earlier hunts. Hopefully this program will continue to grow and help take the pressure off of some of these other areas.