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The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project

About Natural Legacy


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Everyone can benefit from Nebraska’s Natural Legacy Project.  More abundant and sustainable wildlife populations enhance recreational activities such as bird watching, hunting, fishing, hiking, and canoeing.  Nebraska also benefits economically.  In 2001, wildlife recreationists spent more than $585 million in Nebraska on their activities. Nationally over $100 billion is spent annually on wildlife recreation contributing to millions of jobs. These expenditures will likely continue to increase in the future if wildlife populations are sustained. Nebraska is nationally and internationally known for Sandhill Crane and Prairie Chicken viewing, upland game bird hunting, and for its unique unspoiled landscapes such as the Sandhills. These amenities are a source of pride for Nebraskans. To view more information on the biologically unique landscapes, mouse over the map below:

Map Oglala Grasslands Pin Ridge Panhandle Prairies Wildcat Hills Kimball Grasslands North Platte River Upper Niobrara River Sandhills Alkaline Lakes Snake River Cherry County Wetlands Dismal River Upper Loup Platte Confluence Sandsage Prairie Loess Canyons Central Platte River Central Loess Hills Keya Paha Middle Niobrara Middle Niobrara Lower Niobrara Verdigris-Bazile Ponca Bluffs Elkhorn River Headwaters Willow Creek Prairies Thurston-Dakota Bluffs Elkhorn Confluence Lower Platte River Lower Loup Rivers Missouri River Saline Wetlands Rainwater Basin Rainwater Basin East Indian Caves Bluff Rulo Bluffs Southeast Prairies Southeast Prairies Sandstone Prairies

Biologically Unique Landscapes and Demonstration Sites

Downloads available for Biologically Unique Landscape mapping

Goals of the Natural Legacy Project

    1. Reverse the decline of at-risk species (and avoid the need for state or federal listing as threatened or endangered)
    2. Recover currently listed species and allow for their de-listing
    3. Keep common species common
    4. Conserve natural communities

The Legacy Project puts Habitat on the Ground 

Coordinating Wildlife Biologists work to implement Natural Legacy’s goals.  They work with a variety of partners to deliver voluntary, incentive-based conservation actions.  Natural Legacy’s projects are designed to benefit wildlife and meet landowner objectives.  Conservation work is performed also on public ground to improve habitat for many wildlife species.

The Legacy Project Learns and Adapts

Wildlife biologists conduct species inventories, monitor populations, and conduct research to continually learn and adapt management to changing conditions.  In recent years, Nebraska researchers have conducted surveys on plant communities, Burrowing Owls, Piping Plovers, Least Terns, Pallid Sturgeon, and other wildlife.  These efforts have provided valuable insight regarding species assemblages, habitat use and preference, and population trends.  The understanding that comes from this research is needed to make sound conservation decisions. 

The Legacy Project Works with Partners

Partners at all levels collaborate on projects.  They make decisions regarding allocation of funds and the guidance of conservation implementation.

Funding Sources

The approved state wildlife action plan is required for funds to be allocated from the federal government. Other financial sources include competitive funding for Natural Legacy from the State Wildlife Grant program, Nebraska Environmental Trust, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Landowner Incentive Program, and the Wildlife Conservation Fund tax check-off.



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Nebraska Game and Parks Commission - 2200 N. 33rd St. Lincoln, NE 68503 - 402-471-0641

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