Cooperative Agreement Preserves Habitat in Nebraska
For Immediate Release
July 12, 2013
In a cooperative agreement between the Nebraska Land Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Nebraska Public Power District, 262 acres of the Schramm Bluffs, inclusive of Platte River frontage, floodplain, and forested bluffs have been placed in a perpetual conservation easement. A portion of the funds used for this conservation easement originated from a settlement agreement for the release of hazardous substances from the Omaha Lead Smelter. Francis and Margaret Kennedy, long time owners of the property, wanted to protect the conservation and historical values on their land forever.
Much of the land along the Platte River is being purchased for industrial, commercial, and residential developments. The Kennedy Easement includes native habitat within the lower Platte River Biologically Unique Landscape and is a stronghold for many threatened and endangered species such as pallid sturgeon, least terns, piping plovers, and other fish and wildlife resources. The Kennedy Easement includes river banks, sand bars, chinquapin oaks, black oaks, and other species of trees. The woodlands on the property are a forest oasis for nesting and migratory songbirds hence its designation as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. The northern portion of the Kennedy Easement straddles the Schramm Bluffs area which has historical significance. This area contains a number of important historic and prehistoric archaeological sites. The easement will preserve these important sites for future generations.
– FWS –