The North Platte River in Nebraska has done a lot of moving over the years. When a river channel goes dry, it leaves water just under the surface. Ducks Unlimited has helped landowners permanently protect a section of the Platte River and restore channel flow. In 2008, DU secured a conservation easement and completed excavation work and tree clearing on the Prairie Ridge Partners LLC property near Paxton. The 900-acre property spans two miles along the Platte River.
DU's restoration also helps the Prairie Ridge group manage the water in seasonal wetlands and wet meadow on the property. The wetlands and restored channels will provide habitat for ducks to refuel during spring migration and arrive on the breeding grounds healthy and ready to thrive. Birds that arrive on the breeding grounds in good health are more likely to nest successfully, adding more ducks to the fall flight.
Funding for the improvements came from the landowners, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service through the Wetlands Reserve Program and grants from Nebraska Environmental Trust and North American Wetlands Conservation Act. DU will use the value of the conservation easement as match for another NAWCA grant that will help fund six additional restoration projects along the Platte River in Nebraska.