Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Help make more trails in Nebraska!

Many of you may already aware that Senator Pankonin from Plattsmouth introduced LB134 earlierin this session of the Legislature to strip NRDs of the last resort ability to use eminent domain for trail projects. Research for by NTC board members has revealed that, so far as we could document, eminent domain has been used ONLY once on a project which solely involved development of a recreational trail and twice if you count a second NRD project that included a recreational trail, as well as other natural resource improvements. While proponents of this legislation would like members of the Unicamerals Natural Resource Committee to believe this bill is justified by past abuse in the use of eminent domain by our Natural Resources Districts, the facts do not bear out this assertion.

We believe that this legislation has been introduced solely to prevent the Lower Platte South NRD from being able to complete the final segment of the MoPac East Trail between the village of Wabash and the Lied Platte River Bridge. This segment will connect the two largest population centers in our state and also provide access to the premier state parks and other public attractions along the Platte River near the Lied Bridge. The Lower Platte South NRD has spent the past 5 years working with residents of the area through which the trail will pass to select a route that has the least impact on their properties. Currently only about 21 acres of land adjacent to an existing county road would be required to construct the trail. To put this in further perspective, the 21 acres to be acquired stretch along 9 miles of that road. We do not believe it is in the best interests of Nebraska's 1,774,500 citizens for the Unicameral to consider a bill aimed at benefiting 22 landowners.

1) Click here to find your senators email address

2) Copy/paste text below [add changes]

3) Send email or print out and take to your next meeting/group ride and collect signatures.


Subject Line: LB134

Dear [copy paste your reps name],

As a cyclist and trail volunteer, I do not believe there is a justifiable public need for this legislation. There has been no documented abuse of our NRDs use of eminent domain for trail projects. Public recreational trails are a great public asset benefiting people of all ages, economic classes and abilities. I also believe the NRDs need to retain the eminent domain power received in the legislation which established our Natural Resource Districts.


[Your name]

[Title/occupation optional]

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