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.
Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to improve wildlife habitat across the state. Eligible lands include cropland, rangeland, pastureland and odd areas. EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that helps agricultural producers promote environmental quality and wildlife habitat as compatible goals.
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.
Antlerless Hunter Database
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Antlerless Hunter Database connects hunters who wish to harvest antlerless deer with landowners who are experiencing damage issues from deer on their property. Hunters who wish to be considered for this program may sign up on the program page, and landowners may view a list of hunters interested in harvesting antlerless deer.
The Deer Exchange program allows hunters who have filled their freezers to search a database of people interested in receiving venison. Donors and recipients can register online for free.
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 372,000 acres of private land including 549 acres of open waters and 45 miles of river to public hunting and fishing in Nebraska.
In 2016, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission unveiled a plan aimed at increasing Nebraska’s pheasant population and the amount of land open to hunting in areas with abundant pheasants. The overall goal was to produce the best pheasant hunting experience for the most hunters. Part of the ongoing plan involves targeting financial incentives for habitat work that benefits pheasants within specific regions of Nebraska.
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 periodically surveys the landowners of Nebraska regarding issues related to wildlife management and issues on private land. Below are results of the most recent surveys: