Wetland

Nebraska Game and Parks Wetland

Nebraska Game and Parks Wetland

Standing at 11ft tall, this camera looks at the day-to-day rhythm of a wetland in a highly urbanized landscape. Behind the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission building quietly stirs a small, but important wetland feature. This area was previously a mowed patch of lawn grass, but in 1999 construction began on a wetland feature that would clean and filter runoff from adjacent parking lots. Wildlife of all kinds has used this space as a home, or stopover on their migration. It has since been overtaken by invasive narrow-leaved cattail, although current management techniques are underway to improve the wetland’s function in a 21st-century landscape.

Bobcat Wetland

Bobcat Wetland

Along the banks of a tributary of the Haines Branch in the Prairie Corridor, a camera bears witness to the changes that happen at an intersection of prairie and wetland. This habitat, known as a prairie seep wetland, is part of a larger complex of interconnected prairies, wetlands and woodlands that span from Pioneers Park in Lincoln, NE, southwest to Spring Creek Prairie in Denton, NE. This camera looks slightly downwards at the clear and slow flowing tributary, while capturing in the second half of its frame, the seep wetland and subsequent prairie which directs rain and below ground water out to the creek. By watching how peak water flows we can see the happenings upstream that can have compounding effects further downstream.

Dakota Springs

Dakota Springs

Nebraska’s eastern saline wetlands were nearly all destroyed from a century and more of growth of the City of Lincoln, modification of Salt Creek and its tributaries, and land development for agricultural use. The saline wetlands are considered one of the most restricted natural communities in Nebraska. Today, there are efforts from the community and a partnership of conservation agencies to conserve the remaining remnants of these unique wetlands. This camera focuses from above on an area where salt-loving plants are abundant. Saline groundwater rises to the surface continually in this former oxbow of Little Salt Creek still containing the framework of an old railroad trestle.

Wildcat Hills

Wildcat Hills

This camera focuses on the cycle of seasons at a small ephemeral spring in the Wildcat Hills. The Wildcat Hills are a set of rocky escarpments perched above the North Platte River Valley near Scottsbluff-Gering, Nebraska. The region is atypical for Nebraska in that the ecology resembles the Laramie Mountains 60 miles to the west. Ponderosa pine woodlands dominates the landscape, and bighorn sheep, pronghorn, elk, mule deer, wild turkeys, and mountain lions can be seen in the area and all must have reliable water sources to survive. The Wildcat Hills are a popular hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing destination, uniquely managed by the Game and Parks, Platte River Basin Environments and local ranchers and landowners.

Saline Wetland

Saline Wetland

North of Lincoln, Nebraska in the Salt Creek drainage on a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Wildlife Management Area, this camera captures scenes from a unique location where both freshwater and saline wetlands intermingle due to their respective water sources. You can tell the differences by the differences and diversity of plant communities that appear in the frame. Saline wetlands are an endangered ecosystem that provides habitat to the endangered Salt Creek tiger beetle and many other species. This camera is retired.

Silver Creek

Silver Creek

Located in Routt National Forest, in the drainage adjacent to Jack Creek, Silver Creek winds through the eastern edge of North Park, Colorado. An active beaver pond pools water behind a dam, creating a complex habitat for various high country wildlife. Silver Creek flows into the Michigan River, one of several rivers that help form the North Platte River before flowing into Wyoming. This camera has been moved three times as trees it has been mounted to have fallen.

Upper Elkhorn River

Upper Elkhorn River

Near Norfolk, Nebraska, this camera looks upstream at the Elkhorn River. The Elkhorn River is located in the northeastern part of the state. It is fed by groundwater from the Ogallala Aquifer and is one of the largest tributaries of the Platte River. The river flows for 290 miles through wild and agricultural lands before it joins the Platte just south of Omaha.

Kearney Outdoor Learning Area

Kearney Outdoor Learning Area

Located near Turkey Creek, a tributary of the Platte River, this camera views a slough, restored prairie, and riparian forest by Kearney High School in southeastern Kearney, Nebraska. The area was designated the Kearney Outdoor Learning Area (KOLA) in 2016 to serve as an outdoor space for environmental education for Kearney Public Schools and the Central Nebraska Community. This camera provides documentation of landscape change to support experiential learning and public outreach associated with riparian ecosystems.

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