LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will receive $250,000 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the Grassland Enhancement Initiative project. This is the first year of award, with a potential for a second year funding totaling $250,000.
The project is one of the 117 projects receiving $19,501,444 in grant awards from the Trust this year. Of these, 85 were new applications and 32 are carry-over projects.
Game and Parks and Pheasants Forever will use Trust and matching funds to help landowners complete grassland habitat improvements on 45,000 acres of private lands across Nebraska. These improvements will be accomplished through the implementation of practices such as prescribed fire, tree removal, herbicide application, disking, grazing, and herbaceous seeding.
This project will counter threats to grasslands such as the encroachment of eastern redcedar, absence of management and conversion. With time and an absence of management, plant diversity of grasslands has decreased and many tracts have become monocultures of grass. This loss of plant diversity has decreased the amount of suitable habitat for grassland birds. Grassland management activities on these acres restore diversity and productivity for wildlife such as pollinators and grassland birds. The creation and improvement of grasslands will generate many benefits to landowners and wildlife, as well as hunters and local economies.
The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $305 million in grants to over 2,200 projects across the state.
Anyone – citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses – can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations.