The 24th annual Rainwater Basin Joint Venture Informational Seminar was held February 7, 2019 in Grand Island, Nebraska. This year’s seminar focused on projects and issues across the entire RWBJV Administrative Area including, and expanding beyond, the Rainwater Basin Wetland Complex.
The plenary session highlighted the North American Waterfowl Management Plan’s recent revision. A main focus of this revisionis the incorporation of people as a foundational objective. To integrate consumptive and non-consumptive users, a new mapping tool has been developed. This tool provides Joint Ventures across the country a method of identifying areas of overlap to benefit waterfowl habitats with the highest potential of addressing water quality issues and those that satisfy hunters’ and bird-watchers’ expressed desire for easy access and plentiful birds.
Following the plenary session there were three concurrent sessions with different themes: 1) new research findings, 2) conservation opportunities, and, 3) recently completed conservation projects. A few of the topics covered were an overview of the new Farm Bill, highlights from Nebraska Game and Parks’ Pheasant and State Wildlife Action Plans, impacts of eastern redcedar expansion on grasslands, how the common carp affects habitat conditions in the Sandhill’s wetlands, and highlights of restoration projects in the Rainwater Basin and the Sandhills.