Date of this Version
Steinauer, Robert F. November 2000. Horse Creek Fen, Birdwood Creek and Kelly Ranch Inventory. The Nature Conservancy. Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. 25 pp.
Horse Creek Fen preserve is a complex of wetland communities (Sandhills fen, Sandhills freshwater marsh, and northern sedge wet meadow) associated with Horse Creek, a ditched stream that drains the Allen Valley fen. Fen vegetation on the preserve is limited to approximately 20 acres on the western boundary of the preserve where it abuts the eastern end of the Allen Valley fen (Steinauer et al. 1996). The fen vegetation is surrounded primarily by Sandhills freshwater marsh, which in turn is surrounded by northern sedge wet meadow. Additional Sandhills freshwater marsh occurs near the eastern boundary of the preserve. The eastern marsh occurrence adjacent to the fen. Northern sedge wet meadows on the TNC tract are generally infested with exotic cool season grasses and are of low quality.
The Horse Creek Fen preserve is of limited interest botanically, its greatest value being as a buffer for Allen Valley fen if it is acquired by The Nature Conservancy in the future. The clogged condition of the ditch on TNC property also serves as an impediment to drainage of Allen Valley fen.