Nelson, NE – Aug, 21st, 2019 – The Nebraska Working Lands workgroup received an award this past June during the Western Working Lands for Wildlife conference in Twin Falls, Idaho. The award represented the work and efforts partners have put forth in the eastern sandhills to impact the grassland ecosystem through the Working Lands for Wildlife initiative.
“Nebraska receiving this award for our efforts in the eastern Sandhills with the Working Lands for Wildlife initiative is an honor and speaks highly to the great partnerships we have in the state,” says Ryan Lodge, Working Lands Coordinator in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Sandhills is a unique landscape within the Northern Great Plains. The grassland ecosystem remains primarily intact and is critical to grassland birds and other wildlife requiring large open areas such as the greater prairie chicken.
Like many other remaining intact grasslands, the Nebraska sandhills landscape faces serious ecological threats including Eastern red cedar invasion. Practices taking place to help restore the grassland ecosystem include; prescribed fire, brush management, prescribed grazing, water development and other conservation practices.
This initiative is part of a successful partnership between Pheasants Forever, Natural Resources Conservation Services, The Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Sandhills Task Force, Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, and The Nature Conservancy, working to provide project delivery at the ground level. In the last 3 years this group has impacted 29 projects totaling 31,344 acres.
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 140,000 members and 740 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $867 million on 540,000 habitat projects benefiting 18 million acres nationwide.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.