Ten Thousand Acres

A major milestone was reached in prairie conservation today when our good friends and partners over at Prairie Plains Resource Institute (PPRI) planted their 10,000th acre of prairie.

Ten thousand acres of new prairie in Nebraska!  It’s an incredible contribution to our state, and to conservation in general.

Bill Whitney (co-founder and executive director of PPRI) has been a major influence on my career and the careers of many of us in grassland conservation.  He is the godfather of prairie restoration in Nebraska, and personally mentored me in both prairie ecology and restoration during my early years as a young land steward.  If you’re not familiar with Prairie Plains, please click HERE to read more about today’s milestone and all their other accomplishments.

Congratulations and THANK YOU to Bill, Jan, Mike, Sarah, Amy, and Jeff (along with all the other PPRI staff through the years).

Bill Whitney, co-founder and executive director of Prairie Plains Resource Institute harvesting native grass seeds.

Bill Whitney, co-founder and executive director of Prairie Plains Resource Institute harvesting native grass seeds.

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 To put Prairie Plains’ 10,000 acres of restored prairie in context, consider these statistics.

- In 1978, there was an estimated 2,300 acres of high quality prairie left in the entire state of Illinois.

- There are an estimated 12,000 acres of prairie left in Wisconsin today.

- Iowa has less than 30,000 acres of its original tallgrass prairie left.

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About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is an ecologist and Eastern Nebraska Program Director for The Nature Conservancy. He supervises the management and restoration of approximately 4,000 acres of land in central and eastern Nebraska - primarily along the central Platte River. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press.
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8 Responses to Ten Thousand Acres

  1. Brook Herman says:

    WOW! That is impressive. Something all of us should aspire to help achieve in other prairie states!

  2. Great news for a beautiful state!

  3. Ted says:

    PPRI is an organization you can feel really good about supporting, because you can see your support going directly into restoration. Congratulations on this milestone!

  4. June Keibler says:

    And in the 1970s, the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory identified less that 7/100 of 1%. We are building prairies in Illinois too and it would be interesting to know how many recreated prairies there are here now. In our township (Dundee in Kane County), we are in the process of restoring about 200 acres.

  5. Hi Chris,

    Any idea how much there is in IL now?  Thanks,

    Suzanne

    ________________________________

  6. Nate Walker says:

    Congratulations Bill and PPRI Staff for your amazing accomplishments. Keep up the good work and before you know it you’ll be at your next 10,000 acres!

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