2022 Berggren Plan Web

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17 providing 46,000 acres of additional upland game hunting access at an estimated cost of $330,000 per year (above baseline levels; Table A11)� See Appendix A for area-specific habitat and access goals on private lands and Appendix B for habitat management priorities on selected NGPC (public) lands� Land acquisition is one tool utilized to provide access opportunities to hunters in Nebraska� Land acquired by fee title provides hunting land that will be available to the public in perpetuity� The Commission currently has a land acquisition program which considers land offered to the Commission on a willing seller basis� Land is evaluated based on the Commission's acquisition priorities, which are outlined in the Land Strategies Plan� Consideration is currently given to acquiring land that provides (or has the potential to provide) upland gamebird habitat in selected areas of the state� New funding sources will be investigated, including the enhancement of existing funds to acquire land for pheasant management and public hunting, consistent with agencies priorities� Future efforts will include assessing the feasibility of acquiring conservation easements and access agreements to conserve habitat and increase hunting opportunities� Research will be needed to determine the estimated number and spatial distribution of pheasant hunting acres needed to satisfy a target level of hunter demand and determine the most cost-efficient blend of acquisition, easements and access agreements necessary to meet that demand� The plan will also address better ways to use pheasant releases to increase hunting opportunities for families in areas of the state where management activities for wild pheasants are less likely to be effective� We will also investigate potential statute and regulation changes that would: a) enhance habitat quality and availability, b) maximize hunting opportunities, c) expand trapping opportunities and reduce the impacts of predators, and d) minimize the regulatory burden on private individuals and businesses that wish to raise and release pheasants – as well as whether such regulatory changes will affect pheasant populations� Finally, there is a continued need for childhood and adult education programs designed to foster an appreciation of wildlife and the natural world� To help meet the objective of this plan, programs should be continued or developed for current and future landowners of all ages that recognize their specific needs and interests� Literature Cited Jorgensen, C�F�, L�A� Powell, J�J� Lusk, A�A� Bishop, and J�J� Fontaine� 2014� Assessing landscape constraints on species abundance: Does the neighborhood limit species response to local habitat conservation programs? PLoS ONE 9(6): e99339� Matthews, T� 2009� Productivity and habitat selection of ring-necked pheasants and greater prairie-chickens in Nebraska� Ph�D� Dissertation, University of Nebraska, Lincoln� Rodgers� R� D� 1999� Why haven't pheasant populations in western Kansas increased with CRP? Wildlife Society Bulletin 27:654-665� B1) NGPC PRIVATE LANDS PROGRAMS Strategies • Use the best available information about pheasant-habitat relations, landscape effects on pheasant population potential, and social science on landowner attitudes to identify which regions of the state to create and maintain pheasant priority areas • Create and maintain more and/or higher quality habitat on private lands within the priority areas • Develop and maintain partnerships with private landowners, conservation organizations, and local, state, and federal entities to promote and accomplish habitat management for pheasants • Leverage grassland habitat management activities to provide pheasant benefits where appropriate Tactics CONTINUE the focus area and partnership approach to pheasant habitat management, while ensuring that staff and resources are being efficiently directed CONTINUE to refine priority areas and landowner incentives to capitalize on new opportunities to strategically restore pheasant habitat at the landscape scale

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