Bird Diversity and Grazing Management Tour
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Blair, NE. — As part of the 2012 Wildcat Hills Wildlands Day Event scheduled for Saturday, May 19, 2012, the NGLC will conduct bird diversity and grazing management tours. Also, sponsored by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGP), The Nature Conservancy TNC), Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO), Pheasants Forever, Platte River Basin Environments, Inc. (PRBE) and UNL Extension, the Wildcat Hills Day Event will also include a morning fun run, wildflower walk, turkey calling contest, crafts for the kids, blue bird nest box hangings, big horn sheep tour, pine thinning demonstration, Carter Canyon Ranch tour amongst numerous other activities.
The event will be headquartered at the NGP Nature Center located approximately 6-7 miles south of Gering, NE just off SR 71. Birders should congregate at the new parking lot at the top of Old Stage Road at 5:30 AM. The bird diversity tour will begin sharply at 6 AM at TNC Murphy Ranch Watchable Wildlife Area south of Gering, NE. and last for approximately 2 hours. Andrew Pierson, RMBO, Coordinating Wildife Biologist will be on-hand to answer questions about the diversity of birds native to this area of Nebraska this time of the year. Scott Cotton, UNL Extension Educator, Dawes Co., will provide insight into grazing management enhancement of wildlife and bird habitat and ranching birding enterprises. Jim Luchsinger, TNC, will discuss various conservation practices employed on the Murphy Ranch. Binoculars and bird identification books will be available and some offered as door prizes.
Midday, Tom Hoff, NGLC technician will be resourcing the landowner help desk discussing programs including the Rangeland Monitoring Program which assists ranchers in monitoring their range and the Cowboy Logic Stewardship Network matching mentors with less experienced ranchers. The afternoon PRBE Carter Canyon Ranch tour will feature the bighorn sheep viewing, various grazing improvements and ranch leasee, Adam Cross, discussing grazing management benefits to range conservation and animal performance enhancement with plans to wrap up by 5 PM.
The Wildcat Hills Wildlands Day Event offers an opportunity for the urban and ranching communities to learn more about the conservation measures routinely practices by many Nebraska ranchers in an attempt to conserve one of Nebraska’s most precious resources – its’ 23 million acres of grasslands.
No registration necessary. Just “come on down” on Saturday, May 19 to take in the fun and excitement and learn more about the conservation practices being implemented by these conservation organizations.
For further information, please contact:
Brad McKinney, NGP Coordinating Wildlife Biologist, 308 220 0052
Jim Luchsinger, The Nature Conservancy, 402 376 3621
Scott Cotton, UNL Extension Educator, Dawes Co., 308 432 3373
The Nature Center, 210615 Hwy 71, Gering, NE (7 miles south of Gering on east side): 308 436 3777
308 436 3394
Ron Bolze, NGLC Coordinator, 402 426 2033
The Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition is an independent organization of ranchers, interest groups, and agencies whose mission is to collaborate on projects that improve the management and health of Nebraska grazing lands and ensure long-term stability of rangeland resources. The NGLC is funded through grants from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.