Register for the Sandhills Working Lands For Wildlife Informational Meeting

This meeting is designed to kick off and highlight Nebraska’s Eastern Sandhills Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative. The meeting will include an overview of the landscape, threats, past successes, current conditions, and future opportunities on private lands in the eastern Sandhills. Come learn more about the win-win opportunities associated with ranching for cattle production and habitat for numerous species of animals and plants.

February 13th, 2017; 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM Landowner informational meeting and luncheon with optional tour from 2:30 – 4:30 PM at Calamus Outfitters, 83720 Valleyview Ave., Burwell, NE 68823

Sandhills Project Fact Sheet


Agenda (February 13th, 2017)
9:30 AM Welcome and overview of Switzer Ranch – Sarah Sortum
9:40 AM Welcome to today’s event – Jessi Herrmann and Shelly Kelly
10:00 AM An overview of Nebraska’s Sandhills habitats, species, and importance of ranching sustaining these resources – Bill Vodehnal and Tad Judge
10:30 AM Threats to the Sandhills including grassland management, and invasion of Eastern Red Cedar – Dirac Twidwell
11:00 AM Working Lands for Wildlife overview Seven elements and building off the Sage Grouse Initiative and Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative –Tim Griffiths
11:30 AM Lunch with Sage Grouse Initiative or Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative participant testimonial
12:30 PM Nebraska’s Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative Overview –Ritch Nelson
12:45 PM Nebraska Landowner participant panel – Homer Buell, Greg Gail, Bruce Switzer
1:30 PM What is the future – Panel discussion (landowners and conservationists)
2:30 PM Optional Tour (2 hours)

Press Release

Ranchers and Landowners Invited to Informational Meeting about the Working Lands for Wildlife Program

LINCOLN, Jan. 18, 2018 – The eastern red cedar is a tree landowners have a love/hate relationship with. They love its hardy nature, but hate how quickly it can take over pastures reducing valuable grazing acres. As landowners in the Sandhills know, managing cedar trees takes dedication, and lots of time. The new Working Lands for Wildlife program can help.

Ranchers and landowners are invited to learn more about the Working Lands for Wildlife program at an informational meeting on Feb. 13 from 9:30 A.M. until 2:30 P.M. at the Calamus Outfitters located at 83720 Valleyview Ave., Burwell, Neb.

This event will share information on how the Working Lands for Wildlife program provides funding to help landowners manage invasive eastern red cedars, install planned grazing systems and improve wildlife habitat. To register, visit or call/text Shelly Kelly at (308) 214-0065. Registration is free of charge for ranchers and landowners, but preregistration is required since lunch will be provided.

The Working Lands for Wildlife program is available through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The program had dedicating funding to 10 counties in the Sandhills (see map) to help landowners manage eastern red cedar trees through grazing management, mechanical removal and conducting controlled burns. Funding is also available to help install grazing systems, which helps improve grassland health and wildlife habitat.

NRCS is working with the Sandhills Task Force, Nebraska Cattlemen, and many other conservation agency partners through this program to help ranchers in the eastern Sandhills increase rangeland health. A healthier landscape benefits many species including the greater prairie chicken and the American burying beetle while also helping improve the ranch’s bottom line.

Landowners located within the Working Lands for Wildlife Sandhills initiative 10-county area are encouraged to attend this meeting to learn more.


Event: Youth Range Camp


The Nebraska Youth Range Camp consists of a dynamic curriculum that appeals to students with a wide array of interests including, but not limited to, rangeland management, conservation, ecology, animal science, and wildlife. With nearly 50 years to perfect and evolve this curriculum, every student, no matter what prior experience they have, will learn substantial information that will help them become more aware of Nebraska’s most prevalent land use. Rangelands cover nearly 50% of Nebraska and approximately 60% of the United States. These numbers convey the dominance of this land use, but recently there has been several political issues regarding the management of these rangelands which further emphasizes the reason it is imperative for us to educate the youth so we may enable them to become proficient and effective leaders in resource management as well as educated voters.

The students that attend this camp will be actively involved with lectures, field activities, hand-on experience, and recreational leadership and team-building activities that are all led by up to 20 of Nebraska’s most respected and dedicated leaders, teachers, and professionals from various agencies, colleges, and universities. Each student will be sent home with a binder that is filled with educational materials. Must be 14-18 years old. —-COME JOIN US!!

The 2018 Nebraska Youth Range Camp is tentatively scheduled for June 11 – 15, 2018 at the Halsey State 4-H Camp.

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