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Restoring Habitat Along the Central Platte River in Nebraska
arial photo of the project area before restoration arial photo of the project area after restoration Aerial view of the Central
Platte River before and
after vegetation was cleared.

The Partners Program in Nebraska has worked cooperatively with a number of organizations and many private landowners to restore and maintain habitat along the Central Platte River. A total of 22 projects were completed in this area in FY 2002. These projects contributed to the quality and quantity of habitat available to several endangered and threatened species, including the whooping crane, least tern and piping plover, as well as sandhill cranes, waterfowl, other migratory waterbirds and other fish and wildlife species native to the area. Riverine sandbars and islands (prime roosting habitat) and wet meadow and native grasslands (foraging habitat) were targeted for conservation efforts. Approximately 1.5 miles of degraded riverine wetland habitat was restored as a result of these projects.

before, during and after restoration photo    before and after restoration photo

riverine.JPG (21134 bytes)Riverine Wetland Restoration Project

The project in the photo was conducted along the Central Platte River near Gibbon, Nebraska. It involved removing undesirable woody vegetation and the restoration of riverine wetlands by excavating silt and invasive vegetation (e.g., reed canarygrass, purple loosestrife, hybrid cattails and Russian olive trees). All the open water areas that you see were restored using dozers. The restored areas range between 6 to 30 inches in depth and enter the river channel downstream. The frozen channel that you see on the right side of the photo is the actual river channel. The restored areas stay open longer as a result of warmer ground water that seeps in along the restored sloughs.

This project was jointly funded by Nebraska Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Audubon's Lillian Annette Rowe Sanctuary. Additional partners included the Platte River Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust and the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund.

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