Nebraska Revised Statute 37-912

Chapter 37


Chicago and Northwestern Railroad; acceptance of gift; authorized; commission; powers and duties; section, how construed.

(1) Pursuant to the National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C. 1241 et seq., the Game and Parks Commission is hereby authorized and directed to accept as a gift, when and if offered, from any present or future owner the entire right-of-way of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad which lies between milepost 83.3 and milepost 404.5 in Nebraska. In the event a portion of the right-of-way continues in actual rail service, the commission is authorized and directed to accept as a gift the remaining section. So long as the integrity of the right-of-way as an interim recreational trail and for future rail use is not disturbed, the commission is authorized to lease and to grant easement rights on the right-of-way. All revenue collected from such leases shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for credit to the Cowboy Trail Fund and shall be used for the development and maintenance of the Cowboy Trail. The commission shall hold the right-of-way for interim trail use as a state recreational trail, to preserve wildlife habitat, and to provide a conservation, communications, utilities, and transportation corridor and for other uses approved by the commission and allowed by the National Trails System Act. The commission shall keep in good repair all crossings over the trail in accordance with its legal obligations, including all the grading, bridges, ditches, and culverts that may be necessary for such crossings within the right-of-way.

(2) The right-of-way may be accepted without any further legislative action or approval of the Governor but only if the State of Nebraska is indemnified in a manner satisfactory to the commission against the costs of remedial action and environmental cleanup for conditions arising prior to conveyance to the state and the title is free and clear of all liens and mortgage or deed of trust encumbrances.

(3) The commission may accept money from any public or private source for gift-acceptance costs, for the development and maintenance of the trail, or for other uses consistent with the purposes stated in this section. The commission may use funds available in the Trail Development Assistance Fund to carry out this section as provided in section 37-1003. Any money from the Trail Development Assistance Fund so used shall be transferred to the Cowboy Trail Fund.

(4) The commission may enter into an agreement with any public entity at any time for the development and maintenance of the trail pursuant to this section.

(5) This section shall not be construed to limit the power of eminent domain of the state or its agencies or of any political subdivision.


  • Laws 1993, LB 739, § 2;
  • Laws 1994, LB 1066, § 101;
  • R.S.1943, (1996), § 81-815.59;
  • Laws 1998, LB 922, § 373.