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Nebraska Environmental Trust Grant Will Help Prescribed Fire Program

The Rainwater Basin Joint Venture will receive $84,500 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust to help expand the use of prescribed fire in central Nebraska to manage eastern red cedar trees. Encroachment by eastern red cedars reduces productivity of pasture land and degrades habitat for central Nebraska’s grassland birds. Now in its second year, the grant has potential for third-year funding of $84,500.

The “Central Loess Hills Prescribed Fire Training Exchange” brings professional wildland firefighters who wish to expand their prescribed fire skills together with central Nebraska landowners who want to reduce the growth of cedar trees on their grazing lands. The grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust provides for purchase of equipment for fire crews. It also helps offset the costs of pre-burn tree cutting and grazing deferment, both of which improve the efficacy of a prescribed fire. The project’s goal is to conduct large-scale prescribed fires on 12,000 acres over a three-year period. Landowners who want additional information about the program are encouraged to contact Ben Wheeler at 308-750-2652.

The Nebraska Environmental Trust, using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, awarded total grant funds of $19,491,958 this year to 113 projects throughout Nebraska.