Nebraska: Spotted Tail Wetlands Complex

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The Spotted Tail Wetlands Complex along the North Platte River in western Nebraska is a terrific example of dedication, perseverance, partnerships and successful wetlands conservation. Located just west of Mitchell, the property is mostly owned by the Platte River Basin Environments (PRBE), a local conservation organization and Ducks Unlimited partner. Conservation efforts here first began over a decade ago when PRBE members identified this landscape as a priority for acquisition and wetland restoration.

From a wetland restoration perspective, the main attraction to the site was Toohey Spill, a source of ample water from late fall through spring. For the next eight years, DU and PRBE diligently and methodically pursued the project, jumping countless hurdles along the way. Despite all the obstacles, everything was in place to begin the final chapter of this project by late 2010. DU had successfully acquired the 250-acre Bowen property, the last remaining tract of land needed before the project could move forward. In March 2011, earthmoving equipment arrived on scene and the construction of the Toohey Spill water-diversion structure commenced. This structure provides a huge source of water to manage seasonal wetlands across the entire Spotted Tail Complex.

This project was funded in part by a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) and Nebraska Environmental Trust grant.

Partners: Platte River Basin Environments Inc., Nebraska Environmental Trust, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, North American Wetlands Conservation Council, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Enterprise Irrigation District, Pheasants Forever, Oregon Trail Community Foundation and Ducks Unlimited