USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Platte River Ecosystem Resources and Management, with Emphasis on the Big Bend Reach in Nebraska

John G. Sidle and Craig A. Faanes


Abstract: The Platte River and its tributaries drain over 86,000 square miles in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. Many habitats for wildlife, including montane pine forest, native grasslands, and eastern deciduous forest, exist in the Platte River ecosystem. The region is steeped in the history of the settlement of the West. The Mormon and Oregon trails, as well as the railroads played important roles in the early settlement of the region. Enactment of several federal laws to facilitate settlement of the region in the 1880s along with the opening of several railroad lines encouraged residents of the eastern United States to move to the region. Along with human settlement came changes in the character of the ecosystem. Wetlands were drained to accommodate intensified agricultural development. A vast acreage of tall grass prairie was converted to monotypic crop fields. Gravity and center-pivot irrigation systems accelerated the transformation of the native grassland communities. Intensified water withdrawal from the river was responsible for changing the character of riverine habitats. Ecological changes benefitted some organisms at the expense of others. Enactment of several federal and state laws to conserve fish, wildlife, and ecosystems now plays a role to protect remaining Platte River system biodiversity. In this paper, we present an inventory of some of the ecosystem resources and describe some of the impacts to habitats and species that have occurred in the face of human development. We discuss a series of management alternatives that should be considered to maintain the integrity of the remaining biodiversity.


This resource is based on the following source:

Sidle, John G. and Craig A. Faanes. Platte River ecosystem resources and management, with emphasis on the Big Bend reach in Nebraska. US Fish and Wildlife Service, Grand Island, Nebraska.

This resource should be cited as:

Sidle, John G. and Craig A. Faanes. Platte River ecosystem resources and management, with emphasis on the Big Bend reach in Nebraska. US Fish and Wildlife Service, Grand Island, Nebraska. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/habitat/plrivmgt/index.htm (Version 16JUL97)


Contents


Craig A. Faanes, National Wetland Inventory, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax DR, Arlington, Virginia 22203 USA.
John G. Sidle, U.S. Forest Service, 125 N. Main St., Chadron NE 69337. Email: jsidle@unlinfo.unl.edu, Tel: 308-432-0300.


Downloading Instructions -- Instructions on downloading and extracting files from this site.
(Download) plrivmgt.zip (391K) -- Platte River Ecosystem Resources and Management -- With Emphasis on the Big Bend Reach in Nebraska
Installation: Extract all files and open index.htm in a web browser.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/habitat/plrivmgt/index.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 04:53:12 EST
Reston, VA [vaww54]