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NGPC Receives Grant for Wetlands in the Rainwater Basin

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will receive $75,000 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for its “Rainwater Basin Wetland Management” grant. The grant will help with ongoing work to control invasive plants such as reed canary grass, river bulrush, and hybrid cattail in wetlands on both private and public lands in the Rainwater Basin region of south-central Nebraska. Dense stands of these plants degrade the wetland habitat on which migratory birds depend.

Funds from the grant and from Rainwater Basin Joint Venture (RWBJV) partners will be used to hire contractors to disk, apply herbicide, conduct prescribed burns, and remove trees. This is the first year of a grant that has potential for second- and third-year funding of $75,000 per year.

As RWBJV coordinator Andy Bishop explains, the principal benefit of this project is that it improves wildlife habitat on wetlands that have already been restored or enrolled in conservation programs. “By maximizing the habitat value of these lands,” he says, “we will need fewer additional acres to meet habitat conservation goals.”

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is a core member of the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, a public-private partnership working to improve and protect Rainwater Basin wetlands and other habitat in Nebraska’s mixed-grass prairie regions.

The Nebraska Environmental Trust, using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, has provided more than $250 million in grants to over 1,900 projects across the state since 1992, and has awarded $18,799,900 to 118 projects this year.