Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2006


Published in Great Plains Research 16:1 (Spring 2006). Copyright © 2006 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Used by permission.


Consider the fact that approximately 80% of the species listed as endangered or threatened in the United States rely in part or completely on privately owned lands for their survival. For residents of the Great Plains, this statement certainly rings true. Most Great Plains states have public land ownership percentages below 10%, ranking among the lowest in the nation. And although we lack the abundance of listed species "enjoyed" by some of our neighbors, those we do have could not possibly subsist on the scattered fragments of suitable habitat found on public lands. Species-at-risk conservation, in the Great Plains especially, requires a means to engage the support and cooperation of private landowners. How to do so, using a variety of economic incentives mixed with Endangered Species Act (ESA) regulation, forms the focus of this very practical text.