Kissinger WMA reopens to the public

The Kissinger Wildlife Management Area near Fairfield has reopened to all visitors, including hunters and wildlife watchers, after a temporary closure to protect the whooping cranes that use the area.

Two endangered whooping cranes have been present at the WMA since October 19, using the wetland as their resting place and the nearby area as their feeding grounds. They continued their southward migration on November 11.

“We appreciate the cooperation and assistance of the public and local landowners during the stopover of the whooping cranes,” said Alicia Hardin, administrator of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s wildlife division. “These wetlands provide important habitat and recreation opportunities. By working together, we were able to strike a balance between the needs of this endangered wildlife and the recreational interests of the people.”

Whooping cranes are endangered, with a wild population of less than 600 birds. The entire population migrates through Nebraska each spring and fall between wintering sites along the Texas coast and breeding grounds in northern Alberta.

Whooping cranes are protected by both the federal Endangered Species Act and the Nebraska Non-Game Endangered Species Conservation Act.

The closure was standard protocol for Game and Parks once whooping cranes were confirmed on a property owned or managed by the agency.

For more information on the endangered whooping crane, visit