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Nebraska Projects


DU and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to restore public land with nearly $1 million NAWCA grant

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – June 20, 2016 – Nebraskans will have more opportunities to enjoy state public lands, thanks to a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant awarded to Ducks Unlimited. The $932,706 grant will be used for habitat conservation on eastern Nebraska lands that provide access for hunting, fishing, hiking, bird watching, boating and outdoor education.

NET grants to fund Platte River habitat restoration

The Nebraska Environment Trust (NET) has awarded Ducks Unlimited four grants that will restore miles of degraded wetland habitat along the North Platte and South Platte rivers.

DU names Wetland Manager of the Year

Warren Schwanebeck’s accomplishments as a wetland manager were on display this spring when three whooping cranes spent 12 days on the Platte County wildlife management area (WMA) he manages. Schwanebeck has managed the 940-acre Wilkinson WMA for Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) since the mid 1990’s.

Property Acquisition to Benefit Waterfowl in Eastern Washington

Ducks Unlimited and its partners recently completed a fee title acquisition in the Channeled Scablands region of eastern Washington. The acquired property is part of the 1,100-acre habitat project area known as the Saltese Flats, located in Spokane County and recognized by DU; federal state, and local agencies; and other partners as an important area for waterfowl, other waterbirds, and raptors. The area also provides a prime opportunity to protect and restore large tracts of wetland and riparian habitat.

Waterfowl Production Area to Benefit from Nebraska Land Acquisition

Wetlands America Trust, the landholding arm of Ducks Unlimited, has acquired a 160-acre property adjoining Real Waterfowl Production Area (WPA), located three miles north of Fairmont, Nebraska, in the Rainwater Basin. This property will round out the WPA and allow for more cohesive wetland management by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This type of land acquisition is a high priority for DU and its partners in Nebraska. This particular property is significant because it contains a large portion of the wetland footprint of Real WPA.

Even more whooping cranes seen on Nebraska DU Project Sites

Rare whooping cranes are providing positive testimony on the importance of protecting and restoring Nebraska habitat. Ducks Unlimited continues to get reports of whooping cranes choosing to rest and refuel on property conserved in some way by DU. In the past week, DU has received reports of whooper sightings on land Ducks Unlimited restored and/or protected with easements.

Ducks Unlimited restores historic habitat on revolving land

In 2011 Ducks Unlimited Wetlands America Trust purchased the Beam property, south of Oshkosh, Nebraska as part of the revolving lands strategy. The 447-acre property contains some of the last unbroken native wet meadow, which has spectacular blooms of the rare shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia) wildflower. The land also contains North Platte River frontage and accretion ground, which is where Ducks Unlimited focused its restoration.

Ducks Unlimited installs grazing infrastructure on Nebraska wetlands

Ducks Unlimited is promoting livestock grazing along the Platte River and Rainwater Basin. DU recently installed fencing and livestock wells on numerous federal and state lands, Ducks Unlimited revolving lands and private conservation easements containing wetlands.

Migrating Whooping Cranes visit DU project in Nebraska

Ducks Unlimited completed the Father Hupp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) wetland enhancement in 2013. Since then, it has hosted many migratory birds and this fall the WMA was visited by a group of six endangered whooping cranes. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) temporarily closed Father Hupp WMA, a standard procedure to protect the birds.

DU Acquires Tract in Nebraska's Rainwater Basin

Ducks Unlimited has acquired a key addition to the Ayr Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Nebraska's Rainwater Basin. The 12-acre Bohlen property lies along the east side of this state-owned wildlife management area and contains a large manmade pit that captures a significant amount of the natural runoff that would otherwise fill the 200-acre marsh.

Weber Wetland Restoration Project Completed in Nebraska

Ducks Unlimited recently completed a wetland restoration and enhancement project on a property near Bridgeport, Nebraska. The property holds special meaning for its owners, Jim and Peggy Weber, because it once belonged to Jim's parents.

A win-win for ducks and duck hunters_Platte River

Ducks Unlimited is restoring and enhancing several tracts along the Platte River in Nebraska, thanks to a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET). DU partnered with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on the Platte River Wildlife Management Area Partnership grant. DU will remove invasive trees and excavate old remnant slough scars to restore hydrology and function of wetlands and native grasslands on four waterfowl management areas (WMA).

North Platte River Wetlands Grant Approved

Ducks Unlimited and the Platte River Basin Environments Inc. (PRBE) received approval last September from the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission on a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant to restore and protect important wetland along the North Platte River.

DU Secures Easement along South Platte River

In partnership with the Nebraska Environmental Trust and the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, Ducks Unlimited has secured a perpetual conservation easement on the Double Dog Ranch on the South Platte River between Paxton and Sutherland, Nebraska.

DU Helps Landowners Protect Playa Wetlands on Nebraska Property

With the help of Ducks Unlimited, landowners Ralph and Beverly Holzfaster are protecting important playa wetlands on their 320-acre property near Paxton, Nebraska.

DU Completes Rainwater Basin Project in Nebraska

Ducks Unlimited has completed a wetland restoration project on the 640-acre Hansen Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) in Clay County, Nebraska.

North Platte River Wetlands Grant Approved

In September, 2012, the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission notified PRBE that they approved the North Platte River Wetlands project proposal. This approval will grant $1 million to restore and protect important wetland habitat along the river.

Brooks Tract Acquired

In December 2012, Ducks Unlimited completed acquisition of the Brooks Tract, an important Platte River habitat, from the Whooping Crane Trust.

Ritterbush WPA Round-out Acquired

In June 2012, Ducks Unlimited acquired a 120-acre property adjacent to Ritterbush Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) in Franklin County.

Timberlake Ranch Habitat Project

Camp organizers approached Ducks Unlimited for help because they were able to use only a small portion of the property due to overgrowth of dense red cedar trees and silted-in sloughs. They were looking for restoration assistance so they could use more of the land for educational purposes and diversify their activities. The camp and DU recognized the opportunity to restore valuable habitat for ducks but, more importantly, expose more children to fun and engaging outdoor education involving wetlands and wildlife.

Protecting Double Dog Ranch

Ducks Unlimited has secured a perpetual conservation easement on the Double Dog Ranch on the South Platte River in Nebraska between Paxton and Sutherland.

Prairie Dog Waterfowl Production Area Project Completed

Ducks Unlimited recently completed a large wetland restoration project on the Prairie Dog Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) in Nebraska's Rainwater Basin.

Partnerships and Perseverance Conserve Nebraska Wetlands

Restoration of the Spotted Tail wetlands complex, which will be completed this spring, is a prime example of the importance of partnerships in conservation.

DU Helps Landowner Restore Nebraska Wetland

It was a late February morning when Mike Perlinger noticed a large cloud of birds circling the South Platte River just outside the window of his Nebraska home.

Nebraska: Spotted Tail Wetlands Complex

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.

DU and Partners Bring Backwater Wetlands Back to Life

Ducks Unlimited and partners recently completed restoration of one mile of backwater slough habitat on the South Platte River near Paxton, Nebraska. DU regional engineer Mitch Messmer designed the Perlinger project, taking advantage of existing river “scars” in the Platte River floodplain to bring these wetlands back to their former glory.

Loup River Wetlands Restored

Ducks Unlimited has completed two wetland restoration projects along the Loup River in central Nebraska.

Another Verona Success Story

Ducks Unlimited's Verona Wetlands Complex is now providing even more habitat for waterfowl. DU has recently completed another wetland restoration project on Verona, DU's flagship conservation effort in the Rainwater Basin, one of the most important habitats in the Central Flyway.

Platte River Wetlands Restored Near Paxton

Waterfowl now have one more mile of backwater slough habitat available to them on the South Platte River near Paxton, thanks to the recent completion of the Perlinger project.

Platte River Waterfowl Habitat Protected

Ducks Unlimited has permanently protected more than 400 acres of important waterfowl habitat, including almost 1 mile of Platte River wetlands, thanks to the generosity of Lou and Carmen Kleager from Scottsbluff.

Weseman and Gleason Waterfowl Production Areas

Ducks Unlimited recently completed the restoration of wetland habitat on both the Weseman and Gleason waterfowl production areas in Nebraska's Rainwater Basin.

Big Red working hard to improve habitat in the Rainwater Basin

Ducks Unlimited Lands Manager Tim Horst and his crew of tractor drivers are having a busy year in Nebraska's Rainwater Basin. Last year, with funds from a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant DU acquired a large, four-wheeled drive Case tractor, affectionately nicknamed "Big Red." Crews use the tractor to disk wetlands in the Rainwater Basin.

Hultquist and Jacobson Projects

Wetland and grassland restoration work is rapidly being completed on both the Hultquist and Jacobson properties, purchased by Ducks Unlimited in 2006. Both properties were acquired through DU's "Revolving Habitat Program," whereby properties with wetlands and drained wetlands are acquired from willing sellers.

Verona Tract Update

DU’s Verona Tract is located in Clay County, Nebraska, in the heart of the Rainwater Basin. Over the years, DU has acquired several tracts of land in this area. At present, DU owns 1,026 acres on the Verona Complex. Much of this land has already been restored to wetlands and native grasslands.

Olston Project

In July 2007 DU acquired the Olston property as part of the “Revolving Lands Program”. The 155-acre tract is located in Seward County, less than one mile north of Interstate 80 and about one mile west of Goehner, Nebraska. As part of the revolving lands program, DU will restore wetlands and native grassland on the site, protect the restored habitats through a perpetual conservation easement, then sell the property to a conservation minded buyer.

Joe Gabig Project Dedicated

On May 8th, 2009, Ducks Unlimited and partners celebrated the dedication of the Joe Gabig Marsh on the Kirkpatrick Basin South Wildlife Management Area. Joe Gabig was a long-time employee of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission who tragically passed away a few years ago.

Fecht Conservation Easement

The Fecht conservation easement project was completed in 2008. The tract is located in Kearney County, between Minden and Holdrege, Nebraska.

Spotted Tail Restoration Project

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.

Don and Lois Rogert Land Donation

Don and Lois Rogert of Omaha, Nebraska have been supporters of Ducks Unlimited for a long time. Don, an avid waterfowler, and his wife Lois have attended many DU banquets over the years and have instilled into their children and grandchildren a love of the outdoors and support for wildlife conservation.

Prairie Ridge

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.

Delankco Conservation

Platte River has served as vital waterfowl migration habitat for centuries. The river winters high densities of mallards and Canada geese and provides one of the last crucial stop-over sites in the spring before birds head for the nesting grounds.

Boyer Chute

In January, 2009, DU completed the Nathan’s Lake project on the Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge near Blair, Nebraska. The project restored over 20 acres of wetland habitat on the refuge north of Omaha.

Sora WMA

Ducks Unlimited will install a new well in 2009 on the Sora WMA in Fillmore County, southeast of Shickley, Nebraska. DU also constructed fence on the Wildlife Area in 2008, providing an additional tool to the Wildlife Area manager to further enhance wetland habitat on the site.

Elk Point Bend

Ducks Unlimited and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission announced today the completion of the wetland restoration project on the Heald Tract on the Elk Point Bend Wildlife Management Area near Ponca State Park. The project restored approximately 100 acres of seasonal wetland habitat and will provide important benefits to waterfowl and many other species of wildlife.

Smartweed Marsh WMA

Ducks Unlimited will install a new well on this Wildlife Management Area, owned and managed by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The well will provide NGPC with a supplemental source of water to manage wetland habitat. In 2008, DU transferred the 80-acre Himmelberg property to NGPC as an addition to the Smartweed Marsh WMA.

Bassway Strip WMA

When DU heard that seven tracts of land along the Platte River were going to be sold at auction, including two tracts that were adjacent to the Bassway Strip Wildlife Management Area, DU Manager of Conservation Programs Steve Donovan knew he had to act fast.

Spotted Tail Project

Ducks Unlimited Regional Engineer Mitch Messmer reports that DU has already completed six wetland restoration and enhancement projects in Nebraska during 2006. These projects will all provide excellent habitat for waterfowl.

Anderson Project

Ducks Unlimited will acquire the Anderson Property from The Nature Conservancy in 2009. The property is located along the Platte River west of Kearny, Nebraska.

DU acquires Nebraska property next to WMA

Ducks Unlimited (DU) has acquired a 160-acre Himmelberg tract in Nuckolls County, Nebraska, which is adjacent to the Smartweed Marsh Wildlife Management Area. This property contains a portion of a large wetland that extends onto the adjacent Smartweed Marsh.

Ducks Unlimited conserves addition to Smith WPA

Ducks Unlimited (DU) recently aquired a key property in the Rainwater Basins in Nebraska. The Hajny property is a 33-acre addition to the Smith Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) in Clay County.

Mark T. Landgren Project Gifted to USFWS

After almost five years of planning and restoration work, Ducks Unlimited (DU) has completed the restoration of the Mark T. Landgren Marsh in Nebraska’s Rainwater Basin and formally transferred the property to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be managed as part of the Mallard Haven Waterfowl Production Area. Many of Mark T’s friends and family members became Ducks Unlimited major donors and contributed over $120,000 towards this project to celebrate the life of a well-know Nebraska sportsman, Mark T. Landgren. A dedication event to honor Mark T. was held on the site in 2006.

Macon Lakes Waterfowl Production Area

In April 2009 Ducks Unlimited began an extensive wetland restoration project on the Macon Lakes Waterfowl Production Area in Franklin County. This extensive wetland complex is owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and open for many public uses, including waterfowl hunting.

Carey Property Acquired in Rainwater Basin

Ducks Unlimited has acquired another fantastic property in Nebraska’s important Rainwater Basin. The 320-acre Carey property is located adjacent to the 320-acre Hansen Waterfowl Production Area in eastern Clay County.

Shaw Property – Bluewing WMA

In September 2008, DU transferred the Shaw property to NGPC as an addition to the Bluewing Wildlife Management Area in Clay County. The 115-acre tract was originally purchased by DU in 2007 with a combination of funding from DU, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the North American Wetlands Conservation Council. DU is currently planning a wetland restoration project for the site that should be completed in 2009.

DU Completes Restoration of the Dedrickson Propert

Habitat restoration work on DU’s Dedrickson property was completed in April 2009. The property was acquired two years ago as part of DU’s Revolving Habitat Program.

Bluebill WMA

Ducks Unlimited will install a new well on the Bluebill WMA during 2009. This Wildlife Management Area, owned by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, is located in Fillmore County, the heart of Nebraska’s Rainwater Basin.

Nebraska Conservation Projects

Ducks Unlimited habitat conservation projects in Nebraska. These projects benefit waterfowl, other wildlife and people. View sample projects, project map and more.

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