Phase I of the Spotted Tail Restoration Project was completed in January 2009. The 830-acre Spotted Tail property is owned by the Platte River Basin Environments, Inc., (PRBE) a conservation group dedicated to protecting important wildlife habitats in the Scottsbluff area. Ducks Unlimited has worked very closely with the PRBE on several previous projects, including the restoration of the Diamond Bit property in 2007. The Phase I project on the Spotted Tail property included the installation of several large water control structures. These structures will allow managers to restore the large, wet meadow habitat that once existed on the site. Once restored, the wet meadows will provide several hundred acres of shallow, seasonal wetland habitat that will be used by thousands of waterfowl and other migratory birds. Funding for this phase of the project was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, PRBE and a grant through the North American Wetlands Conservation Council.
In April, 2009, DU received a $156,000 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust to implement Phase II of the project. As part of this phase, a water control structure will be installed in the Toohey Spill drainage ditch located just west of the site. The structure will allow water to be diverted out of the ditch and into the Spotted Tail tract, restoring the natural stream flows that once maintained wet meadow habitat on the site. The property will be open to a managed public use program beginning in fall 2009, providing opportunities for public recreation, including duck hunting.