The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will consider staff recommendations to increase the fee for state park entry permits when it meets Aug. 4 in Valentine.

The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. Central time at the Niobrara Lodge.

Staff will propose raising the annual permit for Nebraska-licensed vehicles from $30 to $35 and a temporary (daily) permit from $6 to $7 beginning Jan. 1, 2024. An approval would also activate an increase in permit fees for vehicles licensed outside of Nebraska. Those annual permits would increase from $60 to $70, with the daily permit increasing from $12 to $14.

The duplicate permit would go from $15 to $17.50 for Nebraska-licensed vehicles and $30 to $35 for vehicles licensed outside of Nebraska.

Commissioners also will consider recommendations to:

* apply for a 2023 Recreational Trails Program grant to enhance the entrance of the new walkway at Smith Falls State Park east of Valentine, replace decking on an access bridge, and provide interpretive signage on new viewing decks and nearby trails;
* approve permitting of hunting in some state parks and state historical parks for 2023 seasons; and

Staff will report on the Dark Skies Project educational programs at Merritt Reservoir SRA, which has been certified as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association.

Commissioners also will hear updates on muskellunge research at Merritt Reservoir and on the agency’s shooting range plans, including a new range at Buffalo Bill State Historical Park.