Author Archives: Chris Helzer

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.

Photo of the Week – December 1, 2016

Insect identification is unfair. I came across this photo yesterday while looking through some images from last summer.  The photo caught my eye and I thought maybe I’d write a short natural history blurb about it and use that as … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

The Mechanics of Conservation

Years ago, we hired an older mechanic (older than me, anyway) to take care of our equipment so I and other staff could focus more on ecology and land management and less on carburetors and oil changes.  Fred (not his … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Photo of the Week – November 23, 2016

Prairie landscapes are often defined by broad sweeping vistas and big skies.  A wide-angle lens can be great for capturing that kind of huge open landscape.  However, I’ve gotten some of my favorite Nebraska landscape photos when I’ve exchanged my … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Photo of the Week – November 18, 2016

Back in April, I wrote a post about the regrowth after one of our spring prescribed fires.  That’s a fun time of year to burn because the growing season is getting started and the response of green plants pushing through the black … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Hubbard Fellowship Blog – Scaling Up the Emotional Impact of Prairies

This post was written by Eric Chien, one of our Hubbard Fellows.  Eric comes from Minnesota and brings great energy to our prairie stewardship work.  He’s also very bright, and an engaging writer, as you’ll see in this and other … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – November 11, 2016

On Wednesday of this week, we took advantage of the eerily warm November temperatures to conduct our second prescribed fire of the fall.  This one will help concentrate some spring grazing in an area where we want to suppress grass … Continue reading

Posted in Hubbard Fellowship, Prairie Management, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Photos, not Politics

I felt like a little natural beauty might do us all some good today.

Posted in Prairie Photography | Tagged , , | 43 Comments

A Milestone for Prairie Restoration

Because conservation work can sometimes seem like blowing into the wind, it’s important to pause periodically to celebrate progress.  For example, I am really excited about what has been accomplished in the field of prairie restoration.  We’ve known for a … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Photo of the Week – November 3, 2016

To this prairie photographer, milkweed seeds are like candy – I just can’t get enough.  As I’ve walked around this fall, I’ve had a very difficult time walking past any milkweed plant without stopping to photograph the silky seeds shimmering … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Family Roundup

During the 20 years of my employment with The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska, I’ve been involved in at least 20 bison roundups (we usually do two a year – one for each herd at our Niobrara Valley Preserve).  Last week’s … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Management, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments