Nebraskas wetland resources have
been greatly reduced since settlement. Historically, Nebraska contained an estimated
2,910,000 acres of wetlands that covered about 6 % of the State. By 1989, approximately
1,005,000 wetland acres or 35% had been lost, and many of the remaining wetlands have been
Wetland losses primarily occurred as a
result of agricultural and urban development and was accomplished primarily by draining,
filling, tiling, ditching, digging concentration pits, land leveling, stream degradation,
and increasing sedimentation.
While wetlands have been lost
throughout Nebraska, we estimate that about 90% of the historic Rainwater Basins, 45% of
central Platte River wet meadows, and 36% of the original Sandhills wetlands have been
The objectives of the Partners Program in
Nebraska are to:
(a) protect and restore Federal trust
species on private lands through cooperative efforts with other governmental agencies and
(b) conserve biological diversity
through the careful selection, design, and implementation of restoration projects; and
(c) provide technical assistance to
USDA and landowners involved in the implementation of key conservation programs.
The Partners Program needs
to continue to restore/establish wetland, grassland, riverine, and riparian habitat on
private land throughout Nebraska. More specifically, the Partners Program in Nebraska has
the following future needs:
- Protect, restore, and enhance 12,500
acres of degraded or destroyed wetlands plus 12,500 acres of associated upland habitat
throughout the Rainwater Basin area of south-central Nebraska.
- Protect and restore approximately 20,000
acres of drained wetlands throughout Nebraskas Sandhills and enhance the Sandhill
- Protect, restore, and enhance
approximately 10,000 acres of riverine and wet meadow habitat along the central Platte
River for federally listed species and migratory waterbirds and grassland nesting birds.
- Restore and conserve 10,000 acres of
riverine floodplain habitat along the Missouri River for migratory waterbirds and other
native fish and wildlife species.
- Restore and enhance over 5,000 acres of
wetland and grassland habitat along the North Platte River Valley.
- Protect, restore, and enhance over 500
miles of stream/riparian habitat throughout Nebraska.
- Work with private landowners throughout
Nebraska and other partners to improve habitat on their property.