Wildcat Hills Wildlands Conservation Initiative

Project Description

This project conserves and manages Nebraska’s critical Wildcat Hills habitats on both conservation-owned and private lands through partnerships and with support of local landowners and communities.

Project Map

Publicly Accessible: Yes
County: Banner County, NE; Scotts Bluff County, NE
Project Size:
  • 17350.0 acres

Project Sites

  • Bead Mountain Ranch
  • Buffalo Creek Wildlife Management Area
  • Carter Canyon Ranch
  • Cedar Canyon Wildlife Managment Area

Goals and Targets

Primary Motivations:

  • Public Benefit
  • Conservation Mission

Consistent With Plans:

  • State Wildlife Action Plan

Targeted Habitats:

  • Forests and Woodlands
    • Conifer Forests
  • Shrublands and Grasslands
    • Alpine and Subalpine Habitats (Meadows, Parklands and Shrublands)
    • Grasslands

Targeted Species:

  • Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  • Bighorn Sheep Ovis canadensis
  • Brewer's Sparrow Spizella breweri
  • Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia
  • Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii
  • Ferruginous Hawk Buteo regalis
  • Fringe-tailed Myotis Myotis thysanodes pahasapensis
  • Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus
  • Matted Prickly-phlox Leptodactylon caespitosum
  • Pygmy Nuthatch Sitta pygmaea
  • Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
  • Swift Fox Vulpes velox
  • White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis

Conservation Actions

Action Status Start Year End Year
Conduct prescribed burns Completed 2007 2009
Control encroaching species In Progress 2009 2009
Vertebrate monitoring In Progress 2007 2009
Education In Progress 2007 2009


Is the success of this project's actions being monitored? Yes

Monitoring Activities
Once annually we are surveying along a transect line, with established photo points, for avian wildlife species. Other wildlife species of note are documented as well.

Lessons Learned and/or Suggestions for Similar Activities
Conducting prescribed burning in timber and ponderosa pine thinning is a new concept to most landowners. There is a reluctance to accept these conservation practices. With this current project we have provided several examples to landowners as to what such practices look like, how they are conducted, and what they might expect on their own lands should they choose to participate.

Quick Facts

Owning Organization

Wildlife Conservation Society

Managing Organization

Platte River Basin Environments, Inc.
(Non-Governmental Organization)

Contact Information

Brad McKinney (Coordinating Wildlife Biologist)
Pheasants Forever

General Information

Project #: 1781
Last Updated: January 17, 2011

Project Relations


National Wild Turkey Federation
Nebraska Environmental Trust Foundation
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Pheasants Forever
Platte Valley Companies
Playa Lakes Joint Venture
The Nature Conservancy
Wildcat Audubon Chapter


Nebraska Natural Legacy Project
Platte River BasinEnvironments

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