Audubon has expanded its protection of one of the most important habitat complexes for migrating sandhill and whooping cranes through the purchase of approximately 590 acres on the Platte River.
The acquired property is situated in the center of Audubon’s Lillian Annette Rowe Bird Sanctuary, which was established in 1974 to protect habitat for migrating cranes, waterfowl, and birds on the Platte River.
Bill Taddicken, Director at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary, emphasized that Audubon purchased the property at appraised value according to their organizational policies, and property taxes will continue to be paid. Funding came from several places including the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund, J.A. Woollam Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Walmart’s Acres for America program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Section VI funds from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, North America Wetland Conservation Act Funds from Ducks Unlimited, private foundations, and private donors.
The purchase will bring the total acres protected at Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary to just over 2,800 acres. Audubon plans to restore wetlands on the property and increase grassland diversity through prescribed grazing, burning, and other management techniques. They will also be working to remove invasive tree and plant species.
The Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary is dedicated to the conservation of the Platte River and the birds that rely on it. Located along the Platte River south of Gibbon, Nebraska, the sanctuary is open year-round and features hands-on nature education programs for children and adults.