LLNRD Develops New Outdoor Recreation Incentive Program

The Lower Loup Natural Resources District (LLNRD) has initiated a new program to improve outdoor recreation opportunities and provide additional funding towards the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The LLNRD Access Incentives Program is a new cost-share fund that will assist landowners who are interested in enrolling property, currently in the CRP, in the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s (NGPC) Open Fields and Water (OFW) program.

The OFW program is geared towards opening rangeland, pastureland, and wetlands to public access for hunting, fishing and trapping. LLNRD General Manager Russ Callan stated that the NRD is partnering with the NGPC to incentivize those fields that are currently enrolled in CRP to provide additional funding for the landowner and to provide public access for recreation opportunities for the general public.

Callan stated the program was targeted towards the 33,230 acres enrolled in CRP across the LLNRD. Assistant Manager Tylr Naprstek said that there are very few available OFW sites in the LLNRD, and such a program would assist by providing additional payments to participating landowners.

Naprstek stated that if a landowner chooses to enroll in OFW, the payment amounts vary from $4 to $8/acre, depending on the location, enrollment type, and habitat quality of the property in question. Contracts for OFW can vary from 1-5 years. NGPC biologists are responsible for determining the application’s habitat quality. Callan stated that once the CRP ground is enrolled in OFW, the incentive program would match the payment rate.

For more information, please contact the LLNRD office in Ord at 308-728-3221.