Chad Gideon farms between Grand Island and Kearney. Recently, he and his family bought property on the Platte River to ensure their continued access for hunting and fishing.

During the long weekend of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s fall break, I decided to take a short trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. The park and the surrounding areas have always had a soft spot in my heart. I’ve spent countless days during my summer vacations exploring the alpine tundra and meadows of the park, […]

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.

In the predawn hours of an early Saturday in April, cars creep quietly along a gravel road south of the Platte River’s main channel. For the last half hour, the dark sky has nibbled away at the edge of the full moon above, the lucky occurrence of a rare lunar eclipse.

It’s possible to appreciate the Nebraska Sandhills through a car window. Until a few years ago, that was about as close as I’d been to the grass-stabilized sand dunes that cover a quarter of our state. That’s because up in ranch country, the majority of the landscape is privately owned. As much as I wanted […]

It’s hard for a rancher to intentionally start a grass fire, especially in the Sandhills. And there are good reasons for that. But life seems to be a lot about the friends you choose to have. It’s no different for ranchers. Our friends are critters, great and small. On the domesticated side, our social circle […]

Few modern species can lay claim to older origins than the sandhill crane. Each spring, 80 percent of the mid-continent population spends a few weeks along the central stretch of the Platte River in Nebraska. But this unprecedented concentration of birds on the Platte represents a challenged ecosystem.

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…