Park Entry Permit Increase OK’ed, 2024 Bighorn Season Set


       Nebraska state park entry permits are going up 16% next year. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved fee increases taking effect January 1st last week at its meeting Aug. 4 in Valentine. 

      Of the 38 states that have resident annual state park entry permits, only 5 have fees lower than Nebraska.

       Annual permits for Nebraska-licensed vehicles will go up $5 to $35, daily permits will be a dollar higher at $7, and duplicate permits rise $2.50 to $17.50. 

    Non-resident permits are double those prices at $70 for an annual permit, $14 for a daily permit, and $35 for duplicate permits.

     Duplicate permits will go from $15 to $17.50 for Nebraska-licensed vehicles and $30 to $35 for vehicles licensed outside of Nebraska. 

    The commissioners also set next year’s bighorn sheep hunting season, approving two permits with the season running Dec 3-22, 2024. One will be awarded via a lottery limited to Nebraska residents while the other will be auctioned. 

     The Game and Parks Commission authorizes between no and 2 permits, based on the recommendation of biologists about the number of trophy-class rams available.

     The commissioners also set the groundwork for a separate bighorn management hunt, which would be approved only if deemed necessary to manage the health and sustainability of a bighorn herd. 

     If a management season were approved in the future, it would run 14 days and be limited to Nebraska residents with an application period beginning 60 days before the season’s opening date.