Peter Stegen

A native of Minnesota’s "Land of 10,000 Lakes", Peter grew up in the outdoors. His family was blessed to spend their free time visiting national parks, state parks, and campgrounds across the scenic United States. After high school, Peter moved to Lincoln, Nebraska with plans of becoming a nurse, though after a few unsatisfied years and adequate time soul-searching, he decided his passion for being outdoors deserved a career. An alumnus of the Fisheries & Wildlife program at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Peter has an unconditional love for the wild places and things left on this planet.

Peter's Work

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is one of several state and federal agencies that has been working for decades to recover the federally threatened greenback cutthroat trout. But a few years ago, new genetic research revealed that they’d been saving the wrong subspecies.

A couple Saturdays ago the PBT team spent the morning watching the sun creep over the snow-covered peak of Mount Lincoln, above Montgomery Reservoir. We were exploring the headwaters of the South Platte River, in some of the farthest west territory of the Platte River Basin, a region of central Colorado called South Park.

Here at the international headquarters of the Platte Basin Timelapse project in Lincoln, Nebraska, there are times when unplanned or unexpected things happen. When those unplanned or unexpected things are too good to resist we document them. What happens if those events don’t directly fit into a story that we’re working on at the time? We blog it! […]

The barn is dusty. And cold. It’s winter at The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Platte River Prairies near Alda, Neb. Chris Helzer orients a group of staff and volunteers to the day’s task: mixing seed for grassland restoration.

Twice a year, the world’s largest remaining wild population of endangered whooping cranes makes the 2,500-mile journey between breeding grounds in Canada’s Northwest Territories and wintering grounds on the Texas Gulf Coast, using the Great Plains as their migratory corridor. Biologist are tracking these rare birds to learn more about their migration.

A community works to conserve wildlife habitat along the central Platte River in Nebraska.

Wet meadows are groundwater-fed wetlands within larger grassland environments. Along the Platte…

The third day of February dawned normally for Brice Krohn, senior director at the Crane Trust. The conservation group started burning a few tree piles on their property near Alda, Neb., along the central Platte River. But it wasn’t long before he and his staff noticed the water around in the channels around their property rising.

Water loss through porous canals and ditches has always been an issue for irrigators, so districts and farmers alike have lined or sealed the waterways to reduce loss. “We can’t afford to lose a whole lot of water out of the canal,” Busch said, but “sealing a canal is a catch-22 because that water that comes out of them canals does replenish our groundwater system.”

A couple weeks ago, Ariana Brocious and I were reporting on sugar beets in the western Nebraska panhandle. We packed several interviews into two days talking with large-scale farmers and small-scale farmers, irrigation district managers and natural resource managers. It’s amazing how much there is to know about water policy and the effects humans have […]

Follow a snowflake from the Colorado Rockies through Wyoming dams and reservoirs to fields in the Nebraska panhandle.

They traveled in buckets, passed hand to hand from truck bed to lakeshore, before being carefully upended just above the surface by proud biologists. With each splash, another batch of young greenback cutthroat trout slid into the glassy waters of Zimmerman Lake – back into their native range high in Colorado’s South Platte River Basin.

A spring trip to the Nebraska Sandhills with PBT’s co-founders.

In September 2013, it began to rain in Colorado. And it didn’t stop. Northwest of Fort Collins, the North Fork of the Cache La Poudre River soon carried record amounts of water. In just a few days, flows leapt from three cubic feet per second (cfs) to more than 1000 cfs when the upstream dam could not hold any more water and began to spill over.