The following programs are available to qualifying landowners in Nebraska:
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.
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The Tall Wheat and Milo Stubble Program pays landowners up to $10 per acre to leave wheat and/or milo stubble 14 inches or taller undisturbed until April 1 of the following year in order to benefit wildlife. Eligible producers may enroll up to 320 acres per year per crop type for two years.
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. Check back soon for more information on this program.
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. Check back soon for more information on this program.