WILD Nebraska is a program designed to encourage landowners to set aside land for wildlife habitat. Landowners who participate in the program can receive up to 100 percent cost-share on habitat development materials, per-acre payments for land that is developed for habitat, and technical assistance in establishing habitat areas.
Contracts are for 5 or 10 years. Payments can be made in a lump sum at the beginning of the contract period, or in annual payments for the first 3-5 years. Payments are based on the county average rental rate.
The WILD Nebraska program is sponsored by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and administered locally by the Lower Platte North NRD.
Habitat practices that are eligible for WILD Nebraska fall into one of three categories: Grasslands, Wetlands, or Woodlands.
Grassland communities dominated the Nebraska landscape for thousands of years prior to the arrival of European immigrants. Today, about 70 percent of Nebraska's grasslands have been destroyed or degraded. Decline in grasslands is a primary limiting factor affecting abundance of most wildlife species. All grassland communities, regardless of status, size or location, are important to wildlife.
- implement good land stewardship concepts and procedures
- conserve existing native grasslands
- conserve large or aggregated grassland systems
- emphasize long-term sustainability
- conserve rare and vulnerable plant communities
- Grazing management
- Legume/forb interseeding
- Prescribed burning
- Prescribed haying/shredding
- Prescribed herbicide treatment
- Grassland/prairie establishment
Nebraska's remaining wetlands are highly productive and an essential component of the landscape. They serve a wide array of functions, from providing critical wildlife habitat to improving water quality. Wetlands provide important habitat for 50 percent of Nebraska's bird species, 36 percent of mammal species, 35 percent of reptile species, 100 percent of amphibian species, and 50 percent of plant species.
- Wetland restoration
- Existing wetlands management
- Encourage sound wetland stewardship and long-term sustainability
- Conserve wetland dependent plant and animal communities
- Wetland alteration
- Wetland creation
- Drain closure
- Irrigation re-use pit closure
- Quick-cycle tailwater recovery system installation
- Water control structure installation
- Stream weir installation
- Silt and fill removal
- Vegetation management
Woodlands in Nebraska range from the forests that have evolved over centuries to the woodlands that have expanded recently due to suppression of fire and major flooding events. Other woodlands include man-made plantings such as farmstead shelterbelts, field windbreaks, woodlots, and small plantations. Finally, even in prairie areas, woodlands exist in the form of small wooded draws and thickets.
- focus on habitat management opportunities in natural forest communities
- utilize woody vegetation removal to restore native grassland and wetland habitats
- provide opportunities to develop woody cover to enhance habitat
- foster an appreciation of woodland communities
- Native woodland enhancement
- Riparian forest buffers
- Wildlife shelterbelts
- Native shrub plantings
- Woody vegetation management
A variety of other activities fall under WILD Nebraska, including:
- Hunting Habitat and Access -- Public Access Maps
- Habitat Protection by Fence Construction
- Nesting Structure Ideas
- Hunting Access Bonus Incentive
- Food and Cover Plot Establishment (will provide seed where available)