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Funding will help at-risk wildlife in Nebraska

Funding will help at-risk wildlife in Nebraska

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LINCOLN — Sen. Deb Fischer signed on to a bipartisan wildlife conservation bill, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which will dedicate $1.4 billion annually to help at-risk wildlife species in Nebraska and nationwide.

About $17 million would go to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and be used to implement its wildlife action plan, a cooperation with organizations and landowners interested in financial and technical assistance to address conservation concerns and improve fish and wildlife habitat.

Private lands could receive funds for efforts that focus on Nebraska’s species of greatest conservation need and maintain diverse ecosystems, such as the Sandhills and other important grasslands.

Roughly 770 local at-risk species would benefit — including long-billed curlews, swift fox and Blanding’s turtles.

The Nebraska Audubon Society noted that the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would be an important part of how it responds to the 3 billion birds lost over 50 years in North America because of a variety of factors, including loss of nesting habitat. That loss has negatively impacted grassland birds particularly.

“The dedicated funding provided in this bill will use practical solutions that are a good fit in Nebraska,” said Kristal Stoner, vice president and executive director in Nebraska for the National Audubon Society. “It is critical to proactively conserve vulnerable species, such as the Sandhill crane, golden eagle and greater prairie-chicken. We thank Sen. Fischer for her leadership.”

Federally recognized tribal nations, such as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, would share $97.5 million annually to fund wildlife conservation efforts on tribal lands.

Artist to speak

Homestead National Historical Park will feature watercolor artist Judy Thompson for a pre-release event for the third book of the Pioneer Girl series on Sunday at 2 p.m.

This series, produced by South Dakota Historical Society Press, explores Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life and literary works through a scholarly lens.

Thompson will speak about her experience illustrating the series and how her time as an artist-in-residence at Homestead National Historical Park influenced her work. The event will take place outside of the Education Center. The book will be available for purchase before and after the presentation.

Thompson will also have prints of her Homestead Series paintings for purchase and will sign copies of the Pioneer Girl books. Masks are encouraged at the outdoor presentation and required inside the buildings.

“Pioneer Girl: The Revised Texts” will release to the public on Friday.


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