(Posted 9/17) Earlier this year, an exciting new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) option was announced for Nebraska and Kansas: the Migratory Bird, Butterfly, and Pollinator State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement, known as the Migratory Bird SAFE. This CRP option is available to landowners who own a playa wetland within one of the three designated areas in the state (see map). Annual payments for areas enrolled in the Migratory Bird SAFE are based on a reverse auction where landowners submit a bid for the amount they would like to receive, up to $300 per acre per year. Migratory Bird SAFE contracts are ten to fifteen years.
To educate landowners about this new Migratory Bird SAFE, meetings were held in cities across the three playa regions, including Broken Bow, David City, Geneva, Grant, Holdrege, Sidney, and York. These meetings brought agency staff, farm operators, and landowners together to discuss programmatic options including eligible acres, enrollment process, and restoration process. Also, partner agencies shared information about additional programs available to those who enroll in the Migratory Bird SAFE. A total of 57 landowners attended the meetings, as well as staff from the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Districts, and Rainwater Basin Joint Venture.
If you would like additional information about the Migratory Bird SAFE, please contact the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture office at 308-382-8112, or your local USDA Service Center.
For a print-friendly map of Migratory Bird SAFE eligible areas, click here.
By Ele Nugent, Habitat Specialist, RWBJV