Staff from The Nature Conservancy, Crane Trust, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission worked together to develop this project idea, and therefore the management goals represent the overlapping priorities of these organizations. Broadly, the goals of this project are to improve wildlife habitat for sandhill cranes and other wildlife; promote habitat-compatible agricultural practices; and demonstrate benefits to farmers and ranchers in the area, such as increased cattle forage, greater crop yield, and reduced fertilizer and other input costs. Specific objectives included increasing meadow cover to greater than 30% and reduce woodland cover to less than 30% of the area within 800 meters of the river; to increase average river channel width to over 200m in the project area; to improve soil fertility in agricultural fields; and to convert 40% of the row crop fields in the project area to crane-friendly crops such as wheat, barley, alfalfa, and corn.
Climate Change Impacts
Project participants used the Adaptation Workbook and the draft Wildlife Adaptation Menu to develop several adaptation actions for this project, including:
9.2. Create new sources of food, water, and cover in anticipation of future conditions
11.3. Manage private lands near and between protected lands (buffer zones)
10.1. Create large, intact, or aggregated protected areas
10.8. Protect sites that are expected to provide future suitable habitat
13.3. Increase local community involvement in wildlife management