Published Monday, February 10, 2014 at 1:00 am / Updated at 4:46 pm
long-term tourism PLAN
World-Herald editorial: Fort Robinson vision

Fort Robinson State Park is a picturesque gem in Nebraska’s Pine Ridge country. It’s one of the best-known sites in the state, as Nebraskans for decades have enjoyed the variety of fun made possible on its 35 square miles.

Like to camp out with the family, enjoying laughter and conversation under the nighttime canopy of stars? How about watching a beautiful hill country landscape of Western plants pass slowly by as your horse takes you along a Pine Ridge trail?

Maybe your thing is watching the white sparkle of sunlight on a stream as you wait for that trout to bite. Or perhaps it’s helping yourself to a hardy outdoor meal as you look up and enjoy the majesty of the Red Cloud Buttes.

No wonder that 370,000 people spent time enjoying such fun at Fort Robinson during 2012.

It’s encouraging, then, that Nebraska Game and Parks commissioners have approved a 94-page management plan to raise the tourist appeal to an even higher level. The move is the first of a series of plans the Game and Parks Commission is making to bolster all eight Nebraska state parks over the next decade.

For Fort Robinson, the state will consider promotions aimed at specific categories of visitors such as horse-trail fans, baby boomers and Western enthusiasts. Park officials are looking, among other things, to provide more opportunities for self-guided wildlife and scenic viewing tours.

That is a commendable vision for one of the state’s preeminent tourism venues.

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