What do long-billed curlew have to do with grazing management? Ranchers and wildlife enthusiasts are invited to find out at the upcoming Pine Ridge & Badlands Grazing and Bird Tour.
Historic Fort Robinson near Crawford is the location for this May 17-18 tour where participants will view the area's unique and diverse birds and learn how rangeland management plays an important role in supporting bird populations.
The Tour will begin at noon May 17 at the Buffalo Soldiers Hall at Fort Robinson State Park. Guests will learn about local rangeland management efforts to promote wildlife and bird habitat. Bird experts will present classroom and field-based bird identification sessions, including information about the species occupying this diverse landscape, their habitat needs, and how grazing and burning practices influence bird habitat.
In the afternoon, participants will have options to visit several habitats, including Ponderosa Pine, riparian, shrub/lake margins, mixed grasslands and clay badlands.
That evening, under the shadow of Crow Butte, diners will look for elk and mountain sheep along the bluffs and listen to partnering ranchers discuss their efforts to enhance wildlife habitat.
The second day will start with optional early morning bird watching around Fort Robinson followed by a continental breakfast. Participants will then have the opportunity to visit or re-visit habitat sites from the previous day before reconvening at the Buffalo Soldiers Hall for the tour-ending lunch, where speakers from the Nebraska High Country Ranch Group will discuss integrating livestock production, tourism and wildlife habitat enhancement.
This tour is sponsored by the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Nebraska Bird Partnership, Audubon Nebraska, Fort Robinson State Park and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.
Tour cost is $60 per person, and includes lunch both days, materials, breakfast and transportation to sites. Registration is due May 12.
For more information and a registration form, contact Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition Coordinator Ron Bolze at 402.426.2033 or [email protected].