September 8, 2008
Ducks Unlimited is offering landowners in the Rainwater Basin region an opportunity to have their wetlands disked free of charge. According to Tim Horst, Nebraska Lands Manager for DU, disking weed-choked wetlands helps control invasive plants, thus improving the plant community for the benefit of waterfowl and other wildlife.
DU purchased a Case IH STX 335 and a disk through a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant in cooperation with Pheasants Forever. Local operators have been trained and contracted to provide disking services to landowners.
Horst explains that no contract or obligation is required of landonwers who agree to have their wetland disked. However, he notes, some owners may be interested in a more complete program of periodic disking "in combination with other management practices like chemical and prescribed fire." Information about related management programs is available through DU.
Disking will continue year-round, as weather conditions permit, so landowners may schedule the service at their convenience. "We'll work with producers' schedules, and work with getting in and around their crops," says Horst. In addition, he notes that the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture will provide compensation if crop removal is required for ingress and egress, and will pay for incidental tree removal.
NAWCA is a federal grants program that funds wetland habitat conservation projects throughout North America. It was created, in part, to support activities under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, to protect, restore, and improve habitat for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife.
Land managers who require more information or wish to schedule disking may contact Tim Horst at 402-364-3135.