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ADVOCACY ALERT! Your voice is needed!

Members of the Unicam’s Natural Resources Committee need to hear from Nebraskans NOW about LB 981, introduced by Senator Robert Hilkemann.

The Nebraska Game and Parks commission does not have the funds to properly maintain the Cowboy Trail, for which they are responsible. This bill would transfer $15 million to the Game and Parks Commission for rail-trail maintenance. The funds would be invested and spent down by $750,000 every year, keeping the fund solvent until approximately 2048. 

Please take a moment RIGHT NOW to call or send an email to Chairperson Bostelman and the members of the Natural Resources Committee and ask them to support LB 981 by voting it out of committee. It can be short and simple. (Scroll down to see some sample language.) Use a personal example and/or photo if you have one. Send these in individual emails if possible. If you are a constituent of one of these senators, please state that at the top of your letter. 

Thank you for supporting safe and accessible biking and walking in Nebraska! 

Sen. Bruce Bostelman, Chairperson:
Sen. Raymond Aguilar:
Sen. John Cavanaugh:
Sen. Tim Gragert:
Sen. Mike Groene:
Sen. Dan Hughes:
Sen. Mike Moser:
Sen. Justin Wayne:

Dear Chairperson Bostelman,

I am writing to ask you to vote to in favor of LB 981, because the Game and Parks Commission needs adequate resources to maintain their trails and the state is in a good position to make it happen right now. 

Nebraskans want trails. Research done to develop the state’s outdoor recreation plan shows that trails are consistently ranked by Nebraskans as the most important recreational amenity. 

Trails are for everyone: it doesn’t cost anything to use them, they can be used anytime for a variety of purposes, you don’t need special equipment or a team. 

The proposed plan is fiscally responsible. The state of Missouri is projected to spend $1.86 million annually for maintenance of 287 miles of rail-trail. LB 981 would give Game and parks $750,000 annually for 325 miles of trail. 

Nebraska needs to have skin the game. Private funders will not see building more miles of trail as a responsible investment if the state is not willing/able to maintain the facilities under their purview. 

Nebraska is leaving money on the table by not maintaining this state asset. Missouri receives an estimated $18 million annually from bicycle tourism revenue spent in small towns along the Katy Trail. Nebraska needs to do better to be able to attract bicycle tourism to the state.


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