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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agriculture Research Service (ARS) researchers are studying how nitrates and phosphorus affect water quality in a crop field that has been converted to native prairie vegetation at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City, IA on Sept. 14, 2009. Photo by Jeff Cook.

Nebraska Great Plains Grassland Initiative

Woody plant encroachment puts pressure on working rangelands by decreasing livestock production and increasing wildfire risk as well as harming grassland biodiversity and increasing threat to animal species living in this biome.

NRCS is adopting a new approach to address this widespread threat through the Nebraska Great Plains Grassland Initiative (GPGI). The initiative is part of the NRCS Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) framework calling to conserve the last remaining iconic grassland regions in the Great Plains biome.

The GPGI initiative makes ranchers in targeted rangelands (see map below) eligible to receive Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding related to addressing woody plant encroachment. This EQIP Initiative provides an opportunity for producers to reduce the vulnerability of Nebraska core grasslands from woody encroachment.

Additional Information:

Jeff Nichols, State Rangeland Managment Specialist
(308) 534-2360 ext. 3707