The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP) has opened up some land along the Platte River to limited public access. Activities allowed vary by site and a permission slip is needed for daily use. Applications for a chance to hunt Plate River Recreation Areas (PRRA) land during November rifle deer seasons will be accepted during the month of September.
About the Program (PRRIP)
In 1997, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and the Department of Interior formed a unique partnership with the goal of developing a shared approach for managing the Platte River. Water users from the three states and local and national conservation groups joined the effort. Together, these stakeholders developed an innovative approach for improving the management of the Platte – for the health of the ecosystem and the people that depend on it.
The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP) is the result of that planning effort. The Program is focused on implementing this shared vision for creating and maintaining habitat on the Platte for four threatened and endangered species. More information on PRRIP can be found at www.platteriverprogram.org.
The changes to the Platte River Recreation Access program for the upcoming year are listed below:
- Each user will now be able to hold three reservations at once, instead of five.
- Area K has been removed from the program.
- The south portion of Area I has been removed from the program. Area I is now approximately 460 acres and will have 5 permission slips available.
- Area P, near Gibbon, will be added later this year. The property is approximately 692 acres and will have 6 permission slips available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Platte River Recreation Areas (PRRA) open to the public?
In 2011 a partnership was formed between PRRIP and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) to open some of these sites to limited public recreation with written permission. They are available for the public to use but only for select activities and only with a land access form which is available at www.platteaccess.org. The number of land access forms available for each day depends on the size of the property and other factors that may limit the number of recreational users allowed.View the Public Access Policy
How do I get permission to use limited public access sites?
Land access forms for all dates other than the November rifle deer season will be available on the PRRA website. For the November rifle deer season land access forms will be issued through a random drawing. Applications for this drawing are available at the Kearney NGPC office or you can call 308-865-5338 or send them an email.
How do I get a land access form?
To obtain a land access form you must be 18 or older. Each land access form is good for the individual named on the permit and one youth age 17 or under at the specific site on the date specified on the land access form. If the person with the land access form that includes the liability waiver, both of the youth’s parents or legal guardians must sign unless the one that signs has full legal custody of the youth. Any individual using these sites for hunting or fishing purposes must also have appropriate licenses or permits for that activity.View sample permission slip
How many access forms can I reserve?
You may reserve up to three access forms for the current and future dates. You may only have one access form for any particular day. If you have already reserved three dates, as soon as the first date has passed you are able to reserve another date as long as there is one available.
Why can I only make three reservations at once?
Limiting the number of reservations will allow other users more opportunity to reserve the sites and encourage users to cancel early if their plans change.
What do I do if I can’t use a site that I have a reservation for?
You can cancel a reservation at any time from the “My Reservations” section of the website. Cancelling as soon as you decide that you won’t be using the reservation will give other users the chance to reserve the date.
What activities are allowed with a land access form?
Deer hunting, turkey hunting, waterfowl hunting, small game hunting, fishing, mushroom collecting, bird watching, and hiking are the only activities allowed at this time. Certain areas are closed to some of the above activities.
Is the entire area open for recreation every day of the year?
No. Because these properties were purchased and are managed with a focus on threatened and endangered species, certain portions of the areas are closed to access during critical periods of the year for those species. Areas that may serve as tern and plover nesting habitat are closed from April 15 through August 15. All areas will be closed from March 6 through April 29 and from October 9 through November 15 during the spring and fall whooping crane migration periods. The closed areas will be clearly marked with signs and the land access forms have aerial photos with these areas marked as well. Any access into these closed areas by recreational users is strictly prohibited and any user entering those areas may be subject to prosecution under state or federal statutes.
Sites may be closed temporarily for construction or other concerns. If this occurs, anyone that already has a land access form issued for those dates will be notified by NGPC that the area has been closed and that the land access form is no longer valid.
Why are some channel areas closed to access?
Access to the center of the river channel is typically allowed where PRRIP owns both sides of the channel.
Can I hunt deer here during the rifle deer season?
Yes, but the land access form will not be available through the standard first-come first-serve method. Due to high demand for access during the rifle deer season, applications will be accepted at the Kearney Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Office and a lottery style drawing will be held to issue access forms for the rifledeer season. This pertains only to the November firearm season. The January antlerless season will operate normally. Areas E, J, and N are closed to center-fire rifle use. Deer hunting is not allowed on Areas M and O.
What type of permit do I need to hunt deer on these sites?
NGPC offers a variety of tags for deer hunting, each with its own set of rules. A Habitat Stamp is also required. The PRRA sites are all located within the Buffalo unit; additionally, Statewide Buck, Archery, Muzzleloader, and River Antlerless tags are eligible for use on these sites. For permit guidelines and instructions, visit our hunting webpage.Buy a permit
Why are some sites closed to centerfire rifle use?
Certain sites are closed to hunting with centerfire rifles due to safety concerns and proximity to towns.
Can someone help me drag out the game I have harvested?
Users are encouraged to help each other in dragging out game, but any additional people must make their own reservations before entering the property.
Can I drive my ATV or use my horse, bicycle, or any other form of transportation to enter the site?
No, these sites are for walk-in use only.
Can I use trail cameras or drones on these sites?
No. The use of drones or trail cameras is not allowed on PRRA properties.
Why is only one youth allowed with each adult user?
Allowing multiple youth with each user could allow an unsafe number of people to access the property at the same time.
Why am I required to use the provided parking lots?
Parking only in designated areas streamlines management of recreation access, prevents issues with vehicle traffic on public roads, and reduces the potential for interference with the land management activities of PRRIP or neighboring landowners.
Are tree stands or blinds allowed?
Portable tree stands may be left in place from August 16-February 1. Portable tree stands left in place are available on first-come/first-service basis and users accept all risk of property loss. Portable tree stands left in place outside of the allowed dates are subject to confiscation. Portable blinds are allowed but must be packed in and packed out each day. Any items left overnight may become the property of NGPC or PRRIP or may be used by any other recreational users on the property. Screw–in steps or other items that may cause any damage to vegetation or structures on the area are not allowed. Users are highly recommended to have hunter orange displayed on the top of any temporary stands, blinds or concealment used for deer hunting on the PRRA lands in order to increase visibility to other users.
What kind of habitat management occurs on these lands?
These properties are managed primarily for the benefit of three target species: Whooping Crane, Least Tern, and Piping Plover. PRRIP conducts habitat restoration and maintenance including tree clearing along river channels for crane roosting habitat, sandbar maintenance fore tern and plover nesting, and haying, grazing, and burning to manage grassland vegetation.
Why do I receive survey invitations every year?
The annual survey is an important way for users to provide feedback on the administration of the program. Invitations are sent to every user who reserved at least one date during the past year. All surveys and comments are discussed for future changes to the program.