Habitat Protection & Maintenance

Lilienthal Property

2022 Land Acquisition

The Crane Trust is extraordinarily grateful to the donors that supported our recent property expansion project located on the north east corner of our existing property. This land of approximately 160 acres of undeveloped native prairie will be restored and preserved for area wildlife and ideal habitat for Whooping Cranes and Sandhill Cranes during their annual spring and fall migrations.

One active channel of the Platte River runs through this area and another channel runs along the east side. 

Currently, woody overgrowth can be seen throughout the property. While this property has never been developed, the native prairie habitat has degraded over the years.  

Our data reporting shows that no Whooping Cranes have utilized this area in the last 20 years of our record keeping. However, Whooping Cranes have been documented just a few yards from this land on prairie habitat that has been restored by the Crane Trust. Our goal is to restore this section of the Platte River to increase the amount of ideal habitat for Whooping Cranes and Sandhill Cranes during their annual spring and fall migrations. 

What needs to be done:

While the restoration progress will likely take 4-5 years to complete, Crane Trust staff and scientists will take down and remove the woody overgrowth and back fill this area with native prairie grasses. This process will expand the wet meadow habitat that is ideal for Whooping Cranes and Sandhill Cranes. 

New fencing will expand our bison range for our herd of approximately 115 American Bison.  

The former owner of this property has become a good friend of the Crane Trust and gave us the first opportunity to acquire this land. They appreciated the work that we have done over the last 40 years and want to see our work continue to grow and have an impact on this special habitat. 

The Crane Trust currently owns approximately 5,617 acres of habitat along the braided channels of the Platte River .