Increasing trends nationally in bird conservation needs, awareness, and funding catalyzed the formation of the Nebraska Partnership for All-Bird Conservation (NPABC) in May 2002. The first meeting was an informal gathering of representatives from a variety of agencies and organizations with a concern for Nebraska birds and their habitats. The diversity of organizations involved has expanded tremendously in the last three years, and that diversity has become one of our greatest strengths. Our partnership enables us to share our knowledge, expertise, experience, and resources in order to reduce redundancy and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of all of our bird conservation efforts.
Examples of Key Partners
Over 100 organizations including Auduon Nebraska, Ducks Unlimited, Natural Resource Conservation Service, The Nature Conservancy, Nebraska Association of Resource Districts, Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Corngrowers, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Pheasants Forever, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union, Platte River Whooping Crane Trust, all Joint Ventures working in Nebraska, the Sandhills Task Force, Platte River Basin Environments Inc., US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, representatives from all Nebraska Congressmen, and others.
Results and Accomplishments
Accomplishments of the Nebraska Partnership for All-Bird Conservation
- May - 1st Partnership Meeting
- July - 1st newsletter published
- Aug - 1st Steering Committee Meeting
- Dec - NPABC receives State Wildlife Grant
- Mar - 1st Symposium held
- Apr - NPABC website online (www.nebraskabirds.org)
- Bird priority Species list completed
- June - NPABC oversees Playa Lakes Joint Venture Capacity Grant program for 1st time
- Oct - Bird Habitat Associations Matrix completed (available from "Resources" page on the website
- Feb - Birding Trails Project receives grant from NE Dept. of Economic Development
- Mar - Partners Survey completed
- NPABC received NE Environmental Trust (NET) grant
- June - Received NET Strategic Planning Grant
- Oct - hired 1st full time coordinator for NPABC
- Jan - Communication Plan drafted
- Partners Database live on website (available from "Resources" page on the website)
- Over 400 people on NPABC mailing list
- Feb - Birding Trails website goes public (www.nebraskabirdingtrails.com)
- Feb Birding Trails receives NE Environmental Trust grant
- Bird Habitat Associations Matrix available from website
- June – 1st Annual Plan of Operations adopted
The Nebraska Birding Trails Project has been one of the most influential accomplishments of the NPABC. The purpose of this project is to enhance bird habitat conservation through the promotion of birding as a way to facilitate economic development, especially in rural communities. Birders in the US spend $85 billion annually on their hobby, so this is no minor source of potential income. There are already over 400 birding sites included in the project, most of which are public. The website (www.nebraskabirdingtrails.com) is an interactive search tool containing information about all sites, their ecoregion, the associated communities, bird checklists, and soon maps of each site. We are just beginning the process of incorporating private sites into the project, a very important addition considering that over 90% of Nebraska is privately owned. Their has been a tremendous amount of interest in this aspect of the program, and we look forward to seeing it continue to develop.
The Annual Plan of Operations is a bold plan addressing twenty issues which the NPABC plans to address in the next year. These issues include the role of the NPABC in the implementation of the Nebraska Natural Legacy Plan, the development of a field ecology training program for and by NPABC partners, the NPABC role in the testing and implementation of the bird habitat GIS model (HABS) being developed by the Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV), the development of a Citizen Science Program to utilize the expertise of Nebraska’s birders, and much more. This plan may be viewed on the homepage of our website (www.nebraskabirds.org).
The key to the success of the NPABC is that over 100 agencies and organizations have set aside the differences in their own goals and objectives to work together, on a wholly volunteer basis, to conserve habitat for all Nebraska birds. By mutual sharing of the unique expertise, resources, experiences, and perspectives of each organization, we can reduce redundancy and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our collaborative conservation efforts. That we have been able to set aside our differences in order to collaborate for the cause of bird conservation indicates the level of commitment that our members have regarding bird conservation in Nebraska. Good communication has been vital to keeping the NPABC organized and working together, but it is the enormous amount of time and energy donated to this cause by all of our workgroup members and the Steering Committee that has really enabled the NPABC to achieve everything that it has.