Prairie Wings Fall 2015/Spring 2016: Significance for Nebraska

Prairie Wings Fall 2015 Spring 2016 cover low res

Now available! Read the Fall 2015/Spring 2016 issue of Prairie Wings, a publication by Audubon of Kansas.

Cover of Prairie Wings and link to issue

Download or view the entire issue

Significance for Nebraska

Two articles feature the Hutton Niobrara Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary including “A Green Emerald along the Blue Niobrara River” with photos and text by Paul A. Johnsgard. Another highlights the creativity and leadership of seven Lincoln High classmates in their effort to organize and curate the art and artifact gallery attached to the Hutton House—one of two guesthouses located on the sanctuary.

This issue introduces a book written by Lincoln attorney and conservationist Charles E. Wright entitled Law at Little Big Horn: Due Process Denied. The book details the conspiracy between President Grant and Generals Sherman and Sheridan to use the Army to attack and forcibly remove the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians from their treaty lands located north of the North Platte River and east of the Bighorn Mountains. The story is told from the perspective of the Indians and their legal rights, and describes in detail Custer’s defeat at Little Big Horn.

This issue also details a major threat to native grasslands and prairies in the central Great Plains, including Nebraska. Invasive Old World Bluestems (OWBs) introduced in Oklahoma and Texas (and to a lesser degree Kansas) are spreading along roadsides in Kansas and are invading adjacent rangelands. OWBs eliminate/replace virtually all native plants as they expand over grasslands. Although these invasive grasses have been noted along roadsides near McCook and in Pawnee County, Nebraska, land mangers in the state may be able to halt their spread if addressed soon. Caucasian and Yellow Bluestems need to be designated as noxious plants before they are intentionally planted, or introduced with contaminated hay or mulch (as often used on roadsides) by uninformed individuals or agencies. A previous post provides additional detailed information including a video of a workshop featuring the foremost experts on the subject.

Other articles in the 68-page publication detail the importance of shrubs for Bobwhite Quail and songbirds; three articles highlight the importance of habitat for pollinating insects; the “Last of Wild Bison” in the plains; prairie dog conservation and reintroduction of Black-footed Ferrets; protection of streams throughout the region, and involvement in conservation of the Platte River and Niobrara.

Subscribe or Order Copies

Anyone interested in receiving a complementary copy of Prairie Wings magazine can email their address to ron_klataske (at) audubonofkansas (dot) org or send a letter to the address provided. Although published by Audubon of Kansas (AOK) and dealing with subjects of interest in the sunflower state, it always includes special focus on the Hutton Niobrara Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, and is designed to advance conservation throughout the Great Plains. A subscription of $10 or a membership contribution of $20 or more is always appreciated.

About Prairie Wings

Prairie Wings is a publication of Audubon of Kansas, Inc. Additional newsletters and AOK E-News are published periodically. Visit our website at or find us on Facebook. Please consider becoming a member, giving a gift membership, and/or contributing to the vital work of Audubon of Kansas. AOK is an independent grassroots organization that is not administered or funded by the National Audubon Society. Members of our Board of Trustees (and Honorary Trustees) live in Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri. All funding is dedicated to our work in the central Great Plains and Prairie states.

The mission of Audubon of Kansas is to promote appreciation and stewardship of ecosystems in Kansas and the heartland, with emphasis on conservation of birds, wildlife, prairies, and other habitat.