On nearly 10,000 acres of land, the Crane Trust works to research, develop, and implement land management practices that maintain native environments and provide habitat for countless species sharing fragile river and prairie ecosystems. In 2015, the Crane Trust acquired a genetically important bison herd. Now, approximately 165 bison roam on 1,200 acres of Crane Trust property, reclaiming a keystone role in the prairie ecosystem that has been missing for 150 years.
At the Crane Trust, grazing is used to manage vegetation in a way that promotes healthy habitats and high biodiversity. Various restoration systems have been used on Crane Trust properties, and ultimately the recipe for sustainable grasslands has included grazing, rest, fire, and some mechanical means of vegetation control. As we adapt to new scientific discoveries about maintaining critical Platte River grasslands, we strive to research and understand as much as possible about management affecting the plants and animals that inhabit these lands.
Since 2015 we have studied our reintroduced bison herd in a variety of ways including: their behavior, wallowing ecology, and impacts on vegetation, birds, and small mammals. A partnership with University of Nebraska Kearney is helping to promote even more research on bison and their impacts on native lowland tallgrass prairie. Read more.