Changes Implemented in Response to Public Comment:
The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (Commission) have completed the review of comments received, regarding the management and use of the 4 Southwestern Nebraska Reservoirs (Enders, Swanson, Red Willow, and Medicine Creek.). Comments were gathered at the informational open houses held in McCook and Wauneta, Nebraska, on August 22 and 23 and also received by mail. This input is being considered in the development of Resource Management Plans (RMP's) for the reservoirs.
In response to public comment received, Reclamation and the Commission have taken immediate action to resolve some basic concerns where solutions can be readily implemented. Other comments are also currently being evaluated for which the proposed actions require consideration in accordance with the legal and budget constraints of both Reclamation and the Commission.
Following is a listing of changes which have been implemented at the 4 Southwest Reservoirs, in accordance with public comment:
A. Wildlife Management Areas (WMA's)
The closure date for all seasonal roads within the WMA's is being extended from September 1 to September 15 for the year 2000.
B. Medicine Creek WMA
Trail #6 which was previously only open for seasonal use will be identified as an open road for year round use.
C. Swanson WMA
The western edge of Trail #12 which was previously posted as a permanent closure will be opened for seasonal use.
D. Enders Reservoir, WMA & Refuge
1. A trail accessing a primitive camping area on the south side of the reservoir had been marked for closure due to limited maintenance and security capabilities. This trail has been reopened.
2. A parking lot will be constructed north of the shelterbelt east of Darts Bay, within the WMA. 3. The trail through the prairie dog town within the Refuge on the north side of the reservoir will be closed. This trail is inconsistent with the management objectives of the refuge and provided no additional access to any recreational use sites.
4. The Cow Beaches, which are also within the boundaries of the Refuge at Enders, will remain closed to vehicular traffic. Reclamation and the Commission are studying a potential site and subsequent plans for a swimming beach which would be easily accessible to all. The agencies are optimistic that a suitable site for development can be located within the boundaries of the existing Parks/Recreation designated lands.
E. Additional Improvements
The Commission, with Reclamation's support, is planning to create additional recreation and wildlife enhancements, at all 4 Southwest Reservoirs, with work to begin this fall. Projects include construction of an additional dock and surfaced walkways at Enders, Swanson, Red Willow and Medicine Creek Reservoirs. Plans are also being developed for the construction of a breakwater jetty near the Trail #4 boat ramp at Medicine Creek.
Reclamation and the Commission have identified a number of planning issues through public and agency scoping. These issues will be used as the basis for development of management alternatives and will be included in an Environmental Assessment (EA). The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on a Draft EA and Draft RMP's in the spring of 2001.
Reclamation and the Commission continue to accept comments and suggestions which would enhance the wildlife and recreational values of the area and subsequently contribute to their management efforts.
Last Updated: March 12, 2013