Audubon Nebraska has bought nearly 600 acres that will be protected as a rest stop for migrating sandhill and whooping cranes and other waterfowl.
The property sits along the Platte River in the center of the Rowe Bird Sanctuary near Gibbon.
“The central location of this property near the middle of a critical habitat complex makes it a key component of Platte River conservation needs. Now, four and a half miles of contiguous habitat on both sides of the river will be protected,” sid Bill Taddicken, director of the Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary.
Officials say the property was purchased for $2.4 million from a local family. The money came from several sources, including the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund and private donors.
To restore wetlands on the property, the group says they will be conducting prescribed grazing, burning and other management techniques.
The purchase brings the total acres protected by the sanctuary to over 2,800 acres.