The following programs are available to qualifying landowners in Nebraska:
Landowners in South Central and Southeast Nebraska may be able to increase profits through the Grassland Bird Initiative. Through this program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to improve habitat for grassland birds such as bobwhite quail and greater prairie-chicken. Eligible lands include cropland, rangeland, pastureland and odd areas.
The Conservation Reserve Program is a federal program overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) that pays a yearly rental payment in exchange for farmers removing environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and planting species that will improve environmental quality.
Privately owned waters represent an appreciable portion of Nebraska’s fishable waters. This includes flowing waters (excepting the Missouri River), privately owned natural lakes, constructed lakes, sandpits and farm ponds. Nebraska’s private waters provide a substantial amount of fishing opportunity, produce quality fisheries and are important habitats for native wildlife species. Surveys indicate that roughly 25 percent of licensed anglers fish private waters, and more than 25 percent of Master Angler fish are caught from private waters. The Private Waters program provides technical and management assistance for landowners.
The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project is part of a nationwide effort to address the needs of declining wildlife populations. Nebraska’s biological treasures include 60 amphibian and reptile species, 80 fish species, 400 bird species, 85 mammal species, 1,470 plant species and tens of thousands of invertebrate species. Of these, more than two dozen species of plants and animals in Nebraska are listed as threatened or endangered. The mission of the Natural Legacy Project is to refine and implement a blueprint for conserving Nebraska’s flora, fauna and natural habitats through the proactive, voluntary conservation actions.
The Open Fields and Waters program seeks to increase hunter and angler participation in Nebraska. This program provides financial incentives for allowing public access and the opportunity for private landowners to work with Game and Parks biologists to improve wildlife habitat. These programs have opened more than 276,000 acres of private land including 424 acres of open waters and 41 miles of river to public hunting and fishing in Nebraska.
View Public Access Atlas
Pheasants were once king in the Cornhusker state, but the bird’s reign has taken a hit in recent years as good nesting and brood-rearing habitat – the undisturbed grass and broad-leafed plants so vital to pheasant production – has disappeared in many areas. Focus on Pheasants strives to help landowners improve pheasant habitat, helping bird numbers to rebound.
WILD Nebraska is an umbrella program of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission that primarily delivers wildlife habitat management activities on private lands. This partnership with Nebraska’s 23 Natural Resources Districts is a key element in providing quality wildlife habitat across the state. Call your district office for more information on opportunities in your area. A list of district office locations and phone numbers is available at the link below.
View district office locations
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission acknowledges that wildlife species periodically cause damage to agricultural crops, stored crops, fences, tree farms, and other property. Wildlife damage cannot always be prevented, but certain management practices, instituted by the landowner, may reduce or eliminate some damage problems.