Facilitating Care of and Protection for Niobrara NSR

Unlike many national parks, the National Park Service owns very little of the land along the Niobrara (188 landlocked acres). Management of the nationally significant nature and recreation is through partnerships with and facilitation of landowner stewardship efforts. The NPS is responsible for 67 miles of the NSR outside the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge boundaries with US Fish & Wildlife Service managing the NSR through their refuge.

NPS staff provides expertise in Natural and Cultural Resource Management, Interpretation and Education, and Visitor and Resource Protection toward the goal of sustained river resource protection for this and future generations.

The plans listed below demonstrate how the NPS plans to accomplish their mission at Niobrara NSR.

Commercial Services Strategy

Niobrara National Scenic River is developing a Commercial Services Strategy (CSS) in conjunction with local outfitters to identify opportunities to enhance the park’s mission and the visitor experience through public and private partnerships. The purpose of a CSS is to describe the desired future conditions of the river for visitor use and private business, to create a framework for quickly and easily evaluating business proposals, and to map existing and potential businesses to this framework.

As part of Niobrara’s CSS, outfitters in the local area who choose to apply for a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) in 2017 will be featured on our website as a business that is committed to working with the NPS in providing commercial services on the Niobrara National Scenic River. The CUA also ensures that the outfitter is adequately insured and complies with all state, local, and NPS regulations, and provides basic information on safety and river etiquette to promote the river management and preservation efforts of the National Park Service.

Other outfitters who have chosen not to participate in the CUA program have no agreements in place with the National Park Service but do also provide tube, canoe, and kayak rental. They can be located by visiting the Valentine Chamber of Commerce website.

Public Law 105-391, Section 418 (54 USC 101925) authorizes the NPS to issue commercial use authorizations (CUAs) to persons (referring to individuals, corporations and other entities) in order to provide commercial services to park visitors in limited circumstances. Commercial services authorized under a CUA must be determined to be an appropriate use of the park; have minimal impact on park resources and values; and be consistent with the purpose for which the unit was established. CUAs are intended to provide a simple means to authorize appropriate commercial services to park visitors.

For additional information, please visit our FAQ page.

Last updated: September 2, 2017

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214 W US Highway 20
Valentine, NE 69201


(402) 376-1901

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