2016 Appeal

A few weeks ago on election night, I was nowhere near a newscast or voting booth (I voted early). Instead, I was in the Pine Ridge on a 2,400-acre ranch east of Chadron. At the family’s invitation, I had been there to view elk on three previous occasions, but not one had indulged my desire to see them. This time, I had reason for high hopes. An hour before sunset I had climbed into a new viewing blind with the ranching couple who love these elk and are hoping to permanently preserve their habitat through a conservation easement with the Nebraska Land Trust (NLT).

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Forest stand improvement gives oak trees a fighting chance

After the Nebraska Land Trust (NLT) completed the Kennedy conservation easement in 2013, a conversation began around the management of their woodland.  The protected property lies along the lower Platte Valley, an area known for its oak-hickory woodland bluffs.  However, the “oak” in “oak-hickory” is under considerable pressure to keep its name in the title. Read the full story

Loess Canyons prairie adds to conservation legacy

When Todd and Laura McWha preserved their 304-acre Loess Canyons prairie south of Brady last December, it was actually the second prairie they had preserved forever. Previously they had completed a conservation easement on a Sandhills prairie with a Read the full story

Sowbelly Ranch: A Pine Ridge jewel where beauty is more than skin deep

In 1983, the late Fred Thomas wrote a popular, well-informed column for the Omaha World-Herald titled “Your Environment.”  On one occasion, he “asked a few veteran Nebraska travelers to select the prettiest places in Nebraska.”  According to Fred, “Sowbelly Canyon drew more mention for No. 1 than anyplace else.”
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Marshall family conserves history and native grasslands on the Niobrara River

While in college, Gary and Laura Marshall fell in love with 261 acres on the Niobrara River in Boyd County. So much so that they purchased the land at a time in life when many of their peers hadn’t yet purchased their first car. Read the full story

2015 Appeal

It was a perfect October morning in Nebraska’s Pine Ridge. Under a deep blue sky the Black Hills rose like an island from rolling waves of grass 60 miles to the north. Curving away to the western horizon, the escarpment of the Pine Ridge resembled a rocky shoreline. Eight members of the Read the full story

Patterson Farm becomes a protected oasis of rolling farmland and forest in our fastest growing county

In September, the Nebraska Land Trust (NLT) completed the final conservation easement of four that were needed to protect the 693-acre Patterson Farm in western Sarpy County, near Schramm State Park.

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NLT Receives Asa T. Hill Award from Nebraska State Historical Society

The Nebraska Land Trust (NLT) joined other history makers who have helped to preserve Nebraska’s past, by being honored with the Asa T. Hill Award from the Nebraska State Historical Society in October.

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Lazy Three J Ranch: Ranching, bighorn habitat, and history are permanently conserved in the scenic Wildcat Hills

In 1887, John McNett crept up a slot canyon in the Wildcat Hills west of Chimney Rock. He had homesteaded the land and wanted to leave his mark by etching his name and year into the sandstone, in the upper reaches of what is now known as McNett Canyon. Over the years, many more names and dates would be added, creating a historic visitor registry carved in stone.

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Project Ranking Criteria Completed for Pine Ridge

If you had several hundred thousand dollars to permanently conserve land in Nebraska’s Pine Ridge, where would you start?  This is the question that the Nebraska Land Trust posed to its Pine Ridge Advisory Committee (PRAC) last October.  At the time, it was a theoretical question but when the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) approved our $900,000 Pines and Buttes Preservation Project grant in April, this question became very real.

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