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Platte River Recovery Program to restore habitat

Nebraska

A program to restore habitat for threatened and endangered animals has begun its second year.

The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program has gained management access to 3,000 acres toward its 10,000-acre goal, said Bruce Sackett, program land specialist.

Sackett works with landowners to take leases or easements.

"We would like to acquire the land in fee," he said, "but we will use any methods available. It's a willing buyer/willing seller situation."

Sackett said the program pays property taxes like any other landowner.

The 12-year program will provide resting places for whooping cranes and nesting habitat for piping plovers and least terns. He said the pallid sturgeon thrives as long as there is water in the river.

Most people won't see much difference in management between private and program lands. Sackett expects management to include grazing, haying and sometimes burning to bring back native grasses. He expects to remove some trees, but not all of them. The program will target trees and shrubs in the channel or right next to the channel.

For information about selling or leasing land to the program, contact Sackett at his Kearney office, 308-237-5728 or at home, 402-332-3830.



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