LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has been awarded a $315,000 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the Nebraska Natural Legacy Project: New Approaches to Biodiversity Conservation.
The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project has been the blueprint for conservation of Nebraska’s plants, animals, and natural habitats since 2005. The plan identifies at-risk species, threats to those species, conservation actions, and prioritizes Biologically Unique Landscapes (BULs) for effectively conserving Nebraska’s biodiversity. Natural Legacy partners have worked with hundreds of private landowners to implement conservation projects in nearly two dozen BULs that enhanced more than 400,000 acres of at-risk species’ habitat.
One goal of the three-year project is to improve at least 100,000 acres of habitat on private and public conservation lands. In 2019, Game and Parks removed invasive eastern redcedar trees and conducted prescribed burns to restore grasslands in the Verdigris-Bazile BUL in northeastern Nebraska by collaborating with private landowners and other conservation partners to improve habitat for at-risk and common native species. Similar projects will continue into 2021.
Another goal of the project is to broaden engagement and enthusiasm for at-risk species conservation, and raise awareness for the needs of Nebraska’s native fish, wildlife, and ecosystems.
This is the second year of a three-year award, with Game and Parks receiving $55,000 in 2019 and planned $200,000 in 2021.
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. Any citizens, organizations, communities, farmers or 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 natural resources for future generations. Learn more at EnvironmentalTrust.Nebraska.gov.