A collaborative effort to conserve the Wildcat Hills for future generations has been recognized with a $15,000 commitment from the Oregon Trail Community Foundation.
“It’s a tremendous help,” said Dr. Mace Hack, state director of The Nature Conservancy. “The Wildcat Hills are recognized throughout our state and across the region for their conservation value and beauty. This award will help us move the needle even further toward our shared goals.”
It was a shared sense of urgency that brought partners from Platte River Basin Environments, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and the Conservancy together to form the Wildcat Hills Wildlands Initiative. The group’s mission is to conserve this ecosystem by “maintaining, enhancing, and restoring native plant communities and the wildlife they support while promoting compatible recreation and income-producing opportunities in support of ecological management.”
The grant from the Oregon Trail Community Foundation will be used to protect a keystone property in Scotts Bluff county – the Montz tract. Chosen for its vital bighorn sheep habitat, native plants, unusual springs, and geological features, the Montz tract enhances the network of conservation lands already owned and managed by the partners.
“This award has great worth above even its face value,” said Hack. “It will match public and private funds and serve as incentive to others to really consider what’s at stake in the Wildcat Hills.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.