Labor shortage sees Nebraska cut state parks’ hours, service

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Labor shortages that have plagued businesses across the country have also put the squeeze on Nebraska’s state parks, leading officials to make the unprecedented move to cut hours and services at parks across the state.

State parks were already short-staffed this summer, operating with only an estimated 70% of their normal workforce, state parks administrator Jim Swenson told the Lincoln Journal Star. Now, with many seasonal workers headed back to school, parks are more short-staffed than ever.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission recently released a list of hour and service reductions at many of its properties, including scaling back hours at the Family Aquatic Center and John Wayne Stables at Mahoney State Park at Ashland.

Trail rides and swimming pools at Ponca and Niobrara state parks are now operating on weekends only. Opening hours for visitor centers and offices have also been cut at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area and Nature Center, Ash Hollow State Historical Park, Fort Kearny and Lake McConaughy, among others.