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In the Northeast Prairies/Elkhorn River Region

The Northeast Prairies/Elkhorn River Geographic Focus Area (GFA) covers the northeastern part of the RWBJV Administrative Area, bounded on the north by the Missouri River and on the south by the Platte River. The landscape was once covered by tallgrass and mixed-grass prairie. It still contains over 1.3 million acres of grassland and about 320,000 acres of wetlands, including the Todd Valley playa wetland complex. Along the Elkhorn River, habitats in the floodplain and steep drainages vary from savannah to dense forest.

A variety of grassland birds nest in the region; migrating waterfowl, waterbirds, and shorebirds use the Elkhorn River and Todd Valley wetlands, and the river provides breeding habitat for Interior Least Terns and Piping Plovers.

Most of the region’s grasslands have been converted to agriculture – primarily corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. However, nearly 10% of the grassland area has been re-established through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The principal threat to the quality of remaining grasslands is encroachment by invasive plants such as eastern red cedar and smooth brome.

RWBJV Administrative Regions

Conservation on the Ground

Wildflowers in CRP planting

Berggren Plan Benefits Landowners and Pheasants

In 2016, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) introduced its new five-year plan to promote and improve pheasant hunting throughout the state. Named the Berggren Plan in honor of Lynn Berggren, a former commissioner for the NGPC, it is an update of the previous Focus on Pheasants initiative. Berggren


    • Scott Wessel
    • Private Lands Biologist, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

    • scott.wessell@nebraska.org

    • (402) 841-8817

    • Cassidy Wessel
    • Private Lands Biologist, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

    • cassidy.wessel@nebraska.gov

    • (402) 360-1957

    • Jason Thiele
    • Private Lands Biologist, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

    • jason.thiele@nebraska.gov

    • (402) 370-0010

Science Projects in the Region

Decision Support System for Advanced Biofuels Plants

A decision support system to help Nebraska's ethanol manufacturers identify areas where conversion to alternative crops or other biomass inputs may provide both economic and ecological benefits.

Regional Updates

We'll get some posts up soon.