The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the Rainwater Basin Wetland Management project.
The commission is a partner with the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture and is using these funds to provide habitat on private and public lands for migrating waterfowl in the Rainwater Basin. This includes increasing wetland management to reduce invasive plant species and increase desirable food-producing plants.
Prescribed management will address dense stands of invasive reed canary grass, river bulrush, cattail, trees and common reed because they provide limited habitat for wetland-dependent migratory birds and outcompete desirable plants.
Contractors will disk, apply herbicide, complete prescribed burns and grazing improvements, and remove trees.
This is the first year of the award for Game and Parks, with potential for second- and third-year funding totaling $75,000 each year.
The Rainwater Basin provides habitat for about 8.6 million waterfowl, 500,000 shorebirds, and the federally endangered whooping crane.
Over the past eight years, improved management has increased landscape carrying capacity for waterfowl by 14% and increased recreational opportunities. When habitat values are maximized, fewer acres need to be targeted for future enrollment to achieve habitat objectives.
The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the trust has provided more than $328 million in grants to more than 2,300 projects across the state.
Individuals, organizations, communities, farmers or businesses can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska.