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Grassland Bird Initiative

Through the Grassland Bird Initiative, 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.

Program goals

Goals of the Grassland Bird Initiative are to grassland bird habitat for bobwhite quail and greater prairie-chicken, and to improve grassland management through grazing plans, prescribed fire, and infrastructure improvement.

Management practices eligible for financial assistance

  • Deferment payment for not grazing rangeland
  • Prescribed fire
  • Early successional habitat management on ungrazed grassland areas not enrolled in conservation programs
  • Fencing materials and watering facilities for livestock
  • Brush management
  • Establishment of shrub thickets in ungrazed grassland areas
  • Cropland conversion to upland habitat
  • Grazing management

Eligible landowners

The Grassland Bird Initiative area encompasses the following counties: Franklin, Furnas, Gage, Harlan, Jefferson, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Nuckolls, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, Saline, Thayer, and Webster.

For more information

For more information about this program, visit your local USDA Service Center or check out the Nebraska NRCS website.