Valentine and Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuges initiate construction projects to enhance public access

VALENTINE – This fall and winter, construction projects will begin at two Nebraska national wildlife refuges to enhance public access, visitor experience and visitor safety. At Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will add gravel and recondition the existing roadway surface of the Little Hay Wildlife Drive. At Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, the Service will renovate the Fort Falls Trail trailhead and parking area. The projects will result in temporary closures of the affected roads and trails at the refuges.

The Little Hay Wildlife Drive is a 10-mile auto tour route at Valentine National Wildlife Refuge that allows visitors to learn about refuge management, wetland conservation, wildlife and plants. The road is a primary travel route used to facilitate hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, environmental education and wildlife interpretation.

However, the road has become very rough due to insufficient gravel and may pose a safety hazard to visitors as large rocks and sharp edges have become exposed. There will be significant construction traffic on the Little Hay Wildlife Drive beginning approximately October 27, through the end of November. Sections of the wildlife drive will be closed throughout the duration of the project. Please consult the refuge website, www.fws.gov/refuge/ valentine/, and refuge kiosks for updated information on closures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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