The Prairie Rider

I spend an interesting morning with Paul Charland this week.  Paul is an employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Wisconsin and an avid birder.  He’s taking a motorcycle trip through large grassland landscapes across the Great Plains to see grassland birds – among other things. 

We spent the morning hiking around the Platte River Prairies and talking about subjects ranging from biofuels to bobolinks.  It’s always fun to look at a prairie with someone from another state who sees things through a different lens.  It was interesting to hear his perspectives on prairies as someone working with them in Wisconsin, and I shared my ideas that have come from my Nebraska experiences. 

In addition, we explored important philosophical questions.  For example, “What constrains conservation innovation?  Is it complicated administrative channels within conservation agencies/organizations or staff’s unwillingness to find ways to be innovative, given those constraints?”  Answer:  “Yes”

Etc.

If you’re interested, you can read Paul’s comments on his visit to Nebraska, and follow the remainder of his trip on his blog.  His post on our sites is here.

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About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.
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