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Cody Strong is a wildlife biologist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. His office is located at Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area.
New Game and Parks wildlife biologist posted at Enders Reservoir
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has stationed wildlife biologist Cody Strong at Enders Reservoir to manage open fields and waters, as well as provide information on improvement of wildlife habitats and public access programs.
The position had previously been located in North Platte, but it was decided that it made more sense to place someone in Enders who lived in this area. This centralized location would allow a more concentrated focus and familiarity with the counties involved, Strong said.
Strong’s proficiency is working with private landowners to open up private lands to boost habitat population for public hunting access, trapping and fishing.
He advises landowners on how to enhance their profitability and increase wildlife population by taking cropland and returning it to prairie by participating in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in conjunction with partners of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
The Conservation Reserve Program is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The purpose of CRP is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of wildlife habitats.
Strong said by taking advantage of the incentive fees by signing up for CRP, receiving payments for access to the their property and rental payments from FSA, landowners or producers will profit from the contracts, and wildlife habitats will proliferate.
Strong conveys knowledge gap among public
“The biggest problem is that people out there are not aware they could use the incentives to put cropland into CRP,” said Stone.
He added that they are not fully aware there is unrealized opportunity for wildlife habitats to improve, and more land can be accessible to the public for recreation.
Even landowners who have cropland on which public access is not desired can still benefit from paid incentives for creating and building wildlife habitats on their land.
Strong is a source of help and information on how landowners can find out more about participating in these programs.
“Helping to steward those resources is an extremely important opportunity,” he said.