Cooperatove Conservation Project
COOPERATIVE CONSERVATION CASE STUDY

Nebraska Tallgrass Prairie Partnership

Making Tallgrass Prairie Conservation a Priority

Location: Midwest/Northern High Plains Region: Nebraska

Project Summary: The Tallgrass Prairie Partnership identifies tallgrass management needs and directs habitat improvements on private lands.
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Photo by Jarren Kuipers
Resource Challenge

While the tallgrass prairie covered much of eastern Nebraska prior to settlement, only 2 percent remains today. Most of the remaining tallgrass prairies are located on scattered private lands and are often unknown to natural resource professionals. Past management of many of these prairies has led to ecological degradation and financial losses for landowners.

The Tallgrass Prairie Partnership was formed in order to coordinate tallgrass conservation efforts and overcome some of the hurdles prohibiting adequate protection and management. The partnership is composed of federal, state, and private conservation organizations that have a vested interest in tallgrass prairie conservation. Members meet quarterly to direct cost-share habitat projects though a prairie biologist, direct prairie management education and research, identify funding sources for additional habitat improvement projects, and identify remaining tallgrass prairie complexes.

 

 

 

 

 

Examples of Key Partners
 Nebraska Game and Parks Commision, Nebraska Audubon, Northern Prairies Land Trust, Nebraska NRD Districts, The Nature Conservancy, Nebraska Wildlife Federation,  US Fish and Wildlife Service, Nebraska Environmental Trust, and others
Results and Accomplishments

Since 2003, the Tallgrass Prairie Partnership and it's members have solicited grants though the Landowner Incentive Program and the Nebraska Environmental Trust. A total of $725,000 was obtained for tallgrass restoration and enhancement projects, education, and identification of remaining prairies.

To date nearly half of these funds have been used or allocated for invasive tree control, prescribed burning, and improved livestock management for 39 landowners on nearly 10,000 acres. These prairie improvement projects are designed to promote native plant and wildlife diversity and abundance as well as sustained income for landowners.

The partnership recently initiated a statewide tallgrass prairie database project in order to compile all known tallgrass prairies. This project should help to better record and identify existing tallgrass prairies and target prairie improvement projects to areas where they are needed.

The partnership also provides an annual Tallgrass Prairie Management Seminar for landowners. The seminar provides information on prairie wildlife habitat needs, habitat restoration programs, livestock grazing management, and prescribed burning management.

Innovation/Highlight

The private owners of these native tallgrass prairies have been very supportive of the conservation actions and hope for the programs to continue

Project Contact
Jarren Kuipers
LIP Tallgrass Project Coordinator
Northern Prairies Land Trust
4771 W. Scott Rd.
Beatrice, NE 68310
402-228-8245
jkuipers@ngpc.state.ne.us






Website: http://www.ngpc.state.ne.us/wildlife/programs/landownerincentive/

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